LoveFilm signs deal with key movie distributor to boost content

Back in January Amazon acquired the remaining shares in the pan-European movie rental and streaming service LoveFilm for what was rumoured to be around $312 million. Amazon already owned 42 percent of LoveFilm which acquired Amazon’s DVD rental business in 2008. But it’s not resting on its laurels.

Today it signs a deal with a key film and cinema distributor in the UK, Optimum Releasing.

This means LoveFilm members will be able to stream films from Optimum’s 2009/10 slate and library as part of their subscription package. Titles we are talking here include The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar winner starring Mickey Rourke), The Last Exorcism, The Ghost, Vicky Cristina Barcelona… you get the idea. The deal allows the service to show over 30 first-run films on its streaming service during their pay TV windows and include films from the Optimum catalogue like The Deer Hunter. LoveFilm’s Player works on the Web, direct-to-TV through connected devices or the PlayStation.

But Lovefilm has some potential competition on its hands after Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer and a UK high street giant, acquired an 80 percent stake in British video-on-demand startup Blinkbox from investors Eden Ventures and Nordic Venture Partners for an undisclosed sum. Blinkbox has a catalogue of over 9,000 Hollywood films, a number of TV series and claims around 2 million users per month.

All of these services still have to compete with pay-TV services like Sky, of course…