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Amazon: Prime Instant Video No Deterrent to Disc Sales

16 Jun, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Amazon may be expanding its digital content ecosystem with the launch of a subscription music streaming service, but it reportedly remains resolute in support of packaged media.

Since rebranding Lovefilm Instant to Amazon Prime Instant Video in the United Kingdom, Amazon has redoubled efforts to remain the region’s No. 1 e-commerce source for packaged media.

While Prime members receive free two-day shipping on packaged-media orders, Amazon entices music CD purchases by offering a MP3 digital copy with any purchase through its AutoRip service.

“People often talk about the death of physical music, but on Amazon physical sales grow year on year,” Paul Woodmansey, PR manager with Amazon U.K., told Cue Entertainment. “We know people still like to have titles on their shelf. They like to own things.”

Woodmansey made his comment before the launch of Amazon’s Prime music streaming service. With more than 1 million songs and hundreds of playlists available free to Prime members, it remains to be seen how CD sales are affected going forward.

Meanwhile, the undercurrent for movie disc ownership remains strong. Without any official rollout of UltraViolet in the U.K., there already exist more than 1 million registered UV accounts in the region, according to the British Video Association. Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures U.K. and Paramount Home Entertainment all release select titles with UV functionality.

Amazon is largest online retailer of movie discs in the U.K.

Amazon first began selling Blu-ray titles with UV functionality in the United States in 2012 after it secured an agreement with Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Now, for example, when purchasing the Mark Wahlberg war drama Lone Survivor on Blu-ray, consumers in the U.S. can access the UV code at UniversalDigitalCopy.com. The process is similar for other studios with UV redemption points available at Flixster.com, Vudu.com and RedeemMovie.com, among others.

Indeed, Lone Survivor is Amazon’s third-ranked Blu-ray title since its June 3 release in the states. The title is ranked No. 2 on the top-selling BD list in the U.K. since its June 9 release there.

Woodmansey said an uptick in electronic books and transactional VOD has not deterred consumers from purchasing physical content.

“Customers repeatedly tell us they still want physical media. Digital book sales outstrip printed books, but physical sales continue to grow. It’s no different to how it used to be. If a film was on TV on a Sunday night, we would see an upsurge in sales of the DVD the following Monday,” Woodmansey said.


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