Video-on-Demand movie site, blinkbox is launching the first optimised legal movie streaming service for Playstation 3 owners in the UK. It’s featuring recent DVD releases like Avatar, The Hangover and Sherlock Holmes. The PS3 is now optimised for iPlayer and YouTube, but blinkbox wants to win the race to get blockbuster movies into increasingly web-enabled homes. In effect it wants to become a UK based Netflix. The site now has an archive of 6,000 movie and TV titles. blinkbox was founded by Michael Comish and Adrian Letts with investment from Eden Ventures, Nordic Venture Partners and others.
However, of course, the UK startup in this space which already has tonnes of traction via its DVD rental business is Lovefilm which already has streaming available. And Blinkbox is also competing with PS3’s own movie rental and to-own VOD service.
So this makes it yet another attempt to get traction for blinkbox, which started off as a service letting users overlay a video clip taken from a movie or TV show with a personalised message at the beginning. It was a viral advertising play essentially. It did ad deals with the likes of Pizza Hut.
Then in 2009 it started to offer full movies as downloads of streaming, signing UK deals with Hollywood studios including Universal, Warner Bros and Paramount.
But it’s unlikely blinkbox can catch up just by being on the S3.
That said, blinkbox says it is booking over 1 million unique monthly UK visitors accessing its movie streaming site by laptop or home PC already.
Rental prices start from 39p for a TV episode and movies start from 99p. These videos can be streamed directly from blinkbox.com an unlimited number of times within a 24 hour period, starting from the moment when a user first plays the title. Titles purchased on a ‘buy and keep forever’ basis cost from 89p for a TV episode and from £2.99 for movies. These titles are stored in the user’s library at blinkbox.com and can be viewed an unlimited number of times streaming them online.