Amazon is raising the price of Prime by $20, to $99 per year. If your membership renews on or after April 17, you’ll be paying the new price.
Home entertainment revenues have been on a steady decline in the U.K. since 2008, but in 2013, that trend got reversed by Netflix (S NFLX) and Amazon’s (S AMZN) Lovefilm, according to a report from the Guardian. Video subscription services like Netflix and Lovefilm grew 120 percent last year, the paper said, quoting a recent report by the British Entertainment Retailers Association. Digital music services like Spotify and Deezer also fared well, growing 34 percent, but physical media sales were down 8 percent, and now only make up 40 percent of the home entertainment market.
Amazon is partnering with the BBC to revive the cancelled Ripper Street crime drama. Is your favorite canceled show next? Probably not, but one can always hope.
Streaming video service Wuaki.tv, which launched in the U.K. this summer, has partnered with Panasonic to make its app available on Viera smart TVs. The company says it expects smart TVs to be the largest viewing platform for its content.
Amazon (s AMZN) and MGM announced a deal Tuesday to make more MGM movies, as well as the History Channel hit Vikings, available for streaming on Prime Instant Video. Previously, Vikings had been available exclusively through Amazon’s European streaming service Lovefilm. It’s not available for streaming on Netflix (s NFLX). Movies included in the deal: Fargo, Platoon and Hoosiers (can also all be streamed on Netflix); Annie Hall and Hotel Rwanda (not available for streaming on Netflix).
Streaming video service Wauki.tv has launched in the U.K. It plans to stand apart from Netflix and Lovefilm by offering lower prices and both subscription and à la carte content.
Amazon’s European subsidiary now has exclusive second pay-TV window rights locked up for three of Hollywood’s six major studios, leaving precious little premium content left over for rival Netflix to acquire when it expands into Western Europe later this year.
Roku has filled a vital gap in its lineup by announcing the addition of a channel for the BBC’s popular iPlayer service, just as it starts shipping its media streaming boxes to Britain for the first time.
U.K. Netflix clone Lovefilm just announced an app for LG’s smart TV’s, and the company is also getting ready to launch on Roku’s media streamer once the device becomes available to Britons. Details on the Roku app are scarce, but it could launch in early February.
Netflix wants to recover from a disastrous few months by launching in the U.K. and Ireland — but the company will have to overcome many obstacles to achieve success, not least competition from broadcasters who have very different priorities from their American counterparts.