I used to use Love Film By Post – it was like going to a video store but easier. You chose what you wanted, they posted it out to you, you watched it then popped it back in the post. It seems kinda absurd now but this seemed cheerfully hi-tech in the early 2000s when such services started springing up. Now it’s dead and it seems like another nail in the coffin for physical discs. Have we learned nothing from the resurgence of vinyl and cassette?
Needless to say the company driving a spike through it is Amazon, which seems to be eating up everything on the planet like a gigantic combine harvester. Rather like Yahoo – another behemoth of the internet age, now facing oblivion to the dismay of precisely no-one – Amazon seems apt to buy up companies within its sphere and run them into the ground.
When it acquired LoveFilm in 2011 it was thought to herald a challenge to Netflix. Alas Amazon made a series of strategic bungles and seemed to lose interest, as tweets from customers bear out.
That this is another sign that physical discs are on their way out is small beer in itself – the fact that streaming services offer a paradoxically tiny and depressingly mainstream selection of largely shit films is more proof of the growing homogenisation of a culture where niche interests are deemed economically unviable.
Seriously – see how many films made before 2000 you can find on Netflix; see how many pre-colour movies there are. Frankly, see how many good films there are on these streaming services.
Welcome to a future of Star Wars, Transformers and the guns’n’gangsters redux of Netflix Originals forever.
— Tangerine Coyote (@TangerineCoyote) February 27, 2014
— Kavit Patel (@Patel212) September 25, 2014
— Bill Davies (@bill_davies8) June 9, 2015
— Samantha Thomas (@autotelic_world) May 8, 2015
— oiOLLIEoi (@oiOLLIEoi) October 27, 2015
— Graham Franklin (@GrahamFranklin) October 29, 2015
My #lovefilmbypost subscription fee is being DOUBLED by Amazon?! Ugh, screw that. *cancels*.
— Tomcat (@Tomcat_Redroom) October 29, 2015
— Spencer Costley (@SpencerCostley) October 30, 2015
— damian whyte (@whyted9a) November 1, 2015
Thanks Amazon for buying a decent, well managed company, getting rid of most of its content and staff, then closing it. #lovefilmbypost
— Daniel Paton (@DanPatonMusic) August 14, 2017
Well this would be fine if everything was available to stream but its bloody NOT. The continuing calcification of the streaming canon. pic.twitter.com/zGfeUhB7Mj
— Faye Woods (@FayebellineW) August 14, 2017