With Netflix kicking off next year and LOVEFiLM already having a huge head-start in this growing market - as well as other services, such as Tesco's BlinkBox, gaining momentum - HMW is up against some stiff competition. But with 30 distributors on board and a big marketing push planned for January, the UK retailer fancies its chances and is looking to cash in on the increasing demand for digital film services.
"With a growing number of consumers now incorporating video-on-demand into their viewing and purchasing habits, the time is right to include a digital service into our own offer," said Mark Hodgkinson, marketing and e-commerce director at HMV.
HMV’s partner, FilmFlex is a collaborative effort between Sony Pictures Television and The Walt Disney Company, bringing with it access to the film catalogues of all major Hollywood studios. Movies including X-Men: First Class and Bad Teacher are currently available to download, and by the end of next week titles such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Horrible Bosses will also be available.
More than 30 independent studios have also signed up to the service, including Momentum Pictures (The King’s Speech, P.S. I Love You and The Illusionist.) HMV says that many of its movies will be available on the day of their official DVD release.
HMV's VOD platform, dubbed “hmvon-demand,” is currently a rental-only service, but plans for download-to-own and cloud-based offerings are likely to follow shortly. FilmFlex currently provides on-demand movies for Virgin Media and has also recently teamed up with Film4oD and its new on-demand service. With so much choice on the way, where are you going to download films from?