FAQ Guide: Everything you need to know about LOVEFiLM Instant vs Amazon Prime Instant Video
Staff Reporter | On 27, Feb 2014
LOVEFiLM Instant is no more. Long live Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Following last week’s announcement, Amazon have today updated their streaming service to an all-in-one subscription. But what is it? What’s the difference between LOVEFiLM and Prime Instant Video? How much does it cost? What can you watch? What does it mean for the UK VOD market?
We answer all the questions you might have about today’s big re-brand:
What’s happened to LOVEFiLM Instant?
LOVEFiLM what? No, you mean Amazon Prime Instant Video.
What’s Amazon Prime Instant Video?
It’s Amazon’s newly rebranded video on demand service. It’s just like LOVEFiLM Instant. But completely different.
What kind of a name is Amazon Prime Instant Video?
Not a very good one.
So who do I pester now on Twitter?
@LOVEFILM is no more. You should now be following @AmazonVideoUK.
I’m a new customer – how much does it cost?
Amazon Prime Instant Video is now part of Amazon Prime, which costs £79 a year for new customers – or £6.58 per month. If you only want the video streaming, you can also subscribe to Prime Instant Video by itself for £5.99 per month.
Are there free trials available?
Yes, there is a 30-day Amazon Prime trial and a 30-day Prime Instant Video trial.
What about existing LOVEFILM Instant customers? Does it cost more?
You mean existing Amazon Prime Instant Video customers? You can stay on your Prime Instant Video subscription of £5.99 per month, but you won’t get any of Amazon Prime’s extras. Or you can choose to upgrade to have all of the other stuff and pay an additional £0.58 per month.
What happens to all my LOVEFILM Instant account details?
Nothing – they all stay the same. After all, Amazon already owned LOVEFiLM anyway. So Amazon says your Watchlist, DVD Rental List and account settings will all be available on Amazon Instant Video. All of your apps and devices will update too.
Do I need an existing Amazon account?
No, you can create one – even if you already have an Amazon account, you can still set up a different LOVEFiLM account if you like. Amazon recommends merging the two, though.
What if I don’t want all this? I hate change. I like discs. Does LOVEFiLM still exist?
LOVEFiLM still exists and will offer DVD rentals through the post for a monthly subscription for those who do not want to be part of Amazon’s new world order. It’ll be like living in the 90s.
I’ll buy a denim jacket
Ok, maybe not that long ago.
What about my LOVEFiLM By Post subscription?
If DVD rentals were included as part of your existing subscription, that service will continue to be charged separately to your Prime Instant Video subscription. The total amount you pay will not change, but it will be listed as two separate items on your bank statement. If you no longer wish to receive DVDs, you will need to cancel this subscription.
What if I have a LOVEFiLM by post-only subscription AND an Amazon Prime membership?
There will be no change to how you are billed because your LOVEFiLM post-only subscription is separate from your Amazon Prime membership.
What about existing Amazon Prime customers who pay £49 a year?
You don’t have a choice, we’re afraid. You’ll get all the new video options for £49 a year, but when it runs out you’ll have to pay Amazon an additional £30 for the service.
It does a bit. You’re going from £4.08 per month to £6.58 per month for video you may not have wanted. Prime customers definitely get the raw end of the deal.
So what are these extras you speak of?
Well, the Prime service already includes unlimited free UK delivery within 48 hours, as well as the ability to borrow up to several hundred thousand ebooks on your Kindle.
So if Amazon don’t have a film to stream I can order it through the post and get it almost immediately?
Pretty much. Between that, music and ebooks, Amazon have positioned themselves as the king of multi-media in the UK. Not to mention all the other crap you can order from them.
When you put it like that, it’s quite terrifying
We haven’t slept for three days thinking about it.
Would you like a blanket? I can get it delivered to you within 48 hours
You’re not helping.
Should Netflix be scared too?
In some ways, yes.
But isn’t Amazon’s streaming catalogue rubbish?
It’s actually gotten a lot better in recent months. Amazon are heavily investing money in new and exclusive content. Vikings Season 2 starts on Friday and has quite a big following, while they’ve also added Amazon’s first original show, Alpa House.
Alpha House? What’s that?
A political sitcom starring John Goodman.
What else does Amazon have?
Prime Instant Video’s library has several TV series that Netflix doesn’t have, such as 30 Rock and The Walking Dead, and some impressive movies, such as The Place Beyond the Pines, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Johnnie To’s Drug War and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And Friends with Benefits, too.
We’re still updating VODzilla.co, but anything we list as available on LOVEFiLM Instant is currently available on Prime Instant Video. Plus you can rent things to download.
Wait, I can rent and buy titles from Amazon Instant Video?
Yes. Amazon Instant Video now has TV shows and movies available to rent and download on a pay-per-view basis.
So what’s the difference between Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Prime Instant Video?
One of them’s… Primier? Prime Instant Video is a subscription service that will give you free access to titles, such as 30 Rock or The Walking Dead. Amazon Instant Video is their pay-per-view platform. Like blinkbox or iTunes.
Netflix really should be scared then…
In terms of breadth of service, yes: Amazon has set itself up as a one-stop shop for digital and physical media. With Amazon’s existing base of Prime subscribers (the one who haven’t left out of anger at a £30 price hike) and casual shoppers, the integration of LOVEFiLM Instant into Prime could be the turning point in the two-horse race to lead the UK VOD market.
In terms of pricing, though, Netflix is still competitive (also £5.99 per month), presuming that you don’t want Amazon’s additional stuff and prefer Netflix’s exclusive titles, such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
But I can now rent that on Amazon Instant Video?
Yes. And Game of Thrones. And many others. But not as part of your subscription.
What’s the catch?
Apart from the added cost for previous Prime customers? Amazon Instant Video doesn’t work on all devices yet.
What devices does Amazon Instant Video work on?
At the moment, Amazon Instant Video is compatible with:
Kindle Fire HD
Apple iPad mini
Apple iPhone (3GS and up)
Apple iPod Touch (3rd gen and up)
LG (2012 or newer)
Samsung (2012 or newer)
Sony (2010 or newer)
Sony Home Cinema System (2010 or newer)
LG (2012 or newer)
Samsung (2012 or newer)
Sony (2010 or newer)
So, no Android devices?
No, only the Kindle Fire at the moment.
What a surprise.
We believe it’s called “branding”.
Branding? From the people who came up with the name “Prime Instant Video”?
Yeah, we know.
Will they change it back to LOVEFiLM?
Will they change it to anything that isn’t Amazon Prime Instant Video? It’s really quite rubbish.
At least it saves them money on bumper stickers.
You could probably order those from Amazon too.
Ok, I’m scared too now.
We know. Hold us.