Orange Wednesdays have left the cinema and are heading online.
The scheme, which gave customers of the mobile phone operator two tickets for the price of one at UK cinemas, was scrapped last month after years of half-price film tickets – a scheme that turned the middle of the week into one of the busiest periods for theatres.
Since the announcement of Orange Wednesdays’ demise, there have been rumours of Compare the Market stepping into the slot with their own deal. O2, meanwhile, recently announced that they would give two free cinema tickets to those who sent them their old Orange sim cards.
Now, though, EE has unveiled its own replacement: EE Film Club, which swaps the big screen for VOD. The promotion will give all new and existing customers – on EE, Orange, T-Mobile and broadband plans – access to a film rental every week for £1 with Wuaki.tv.
The pay-per-view VOD service will offer weekly £1 rentals to Orange customers from 30th March with customers able to choose from “a wide range of films – including new releases”.
The move from cinemas to streaming is a significant sign of where EE’s focus is for the future: it follows the launch of its own TV service, EE TV, which places an emphasis on watching video on mobile devices as well as through its living room set top box.
YouGov research, commissioned by the company, shows that a third of UK adults who watch films have downloaded or streamed content in the last week, with over 50 per cent downloading or streaming films and TV shows every month.
Pippa Dunn, Chief Marketing Officer at EE, says: “More people than ever before are downloading and streaming movies so they can watch at home or on the go. With 1 in 3 UK adults enjoying digital entertainment every week – and this number is only going to grow – our viewing habits are clearly evolving. This reaffirms our commitment to put customers first as we deliver a series of new offers in 2015. The new weekly £1 film offer launches at the end of March and is set to be a box office hit with our customers.”
Customers can take advantage of the EE £1 film offer each week by texting ‘film’ to 141 to receive a promotional code which can be redeemed between Monday and Wednesday on Wuaki.tv. Texts cost 35p and users have 48 hours from redemption to watch their film rental.
The deal is also a significant step in Wuaki.tv’s growth. The streaming service – which is owned by Rakuten, of Play.com fame – ended 2014 with over 2 million users in Europe (400,000 of those are in the the UK), 85 per cent higher than the previous year. The company is currently eyeing up launches in Ireland and Austria in the coming months and plans to operate in 15 European countries by the end of 2015.
The site is compatible with Mac and PC desktop browsers, Samsung, LG and Panasonic Smart TV platforms, Xbox consoles, Android devices, iOS devices and Chromecast. It is also available, of course, on the EE TV set top box.
Vincent Petersen, UK Country Director at Wuaki.tv, sas: “Wuaki.tv launched in the UK less than two years ago and we have already seen phenomenal growth in our customer base as mobile device streaming soars. We know that almost a third of our customers already stream their movies to mobile and tablet devices highlighting that EE and Wuaki.tv are perfect partners.”
What do you think? Could staying in every Wednesday be the new going out?