Ahead of the launch of Netflix in the UK, Amazon's Lovefilm DVD rental and streaming service is gearing up for a fight on the streaming front. The company has announced a deal with Sony Pictures Television granting it exclusive rights to stream movies during the "second pay TV window" — the timeframe traditionally occupied by subscription-based satellite and cable services. This follows a similar deal announced in November with Warner Brothers. The Sony deal is effective from June next year, and will give users access to recent blockbusters such as Salt, The Social Network, and 2012, forthcoming movies including Arthur Christmas and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and television shows from Sony's stable.
This is good news for subscribers to Lovefilm's service, which has been criticised for its anaemic streaming selection. However will it be enough to counter Netflix's similar deals with big names including the BBC, Lionsgate, MGM, and Miramax, and help retain Lovefilm's subscriber base?