J SAINSBURY has become the latest player to enter the on-demand film streaming market, teaming up with US technology firm Rovi to launch an online rental service to rival Sky’s Now TV, Netflix and Lovefilm.
The supermarket, which also started a music download service earlier in the year, says it will offer films on a pay-per-view basis on the same day they are released on DVD.
Tesco entered the market last year when it bought blinkbox, a similar offering. The supermarkets have seen their strength in DVD sales threatened by the rise in digital consumption. Lovefilm and Netflix boast 2.5m subscribers between them, although Sainsbury’s is targeting a separate market by offering film streaming on a pay-per-view basis. The service will launch later in the year on computers before coming to other platforms.
Releasing films on the same day as their DVD launch is likely to hand Sainsbury’s an advantage over Netflix and Lovefilm, whose releases are delayed by months.