Lovefilm vs. Netflix vs. Sky Movies vs. BlinkboxPosted: January 9, 2012 Filed under: Tech | Tags: Amazon, Blinkbox, Lovefilm, movies, Netflix, xBox 12 Comments
I love watching movies. I could quite happily sit and watch 2 or 3 back to back on a Sunday as long as the F1 isn’t on. I’ve been a Sky Movies subscriber since getting Sky about 5 years ago and was always pretty satisfied with the service. In late 2010 Sky launched a partnership with Xbox which changed the game completely as it meant I now had access to 100’s of on demand movies at no extra cost.
The improvements to the Xbox dashboard released in December (2011) to include apps from third party movie streaming services such as Blinkbox, Lovefilm and as of today Netflix has drawn to my attention to the possibility that I could get rid of my £16 per month Sky Movies Subscription if it could replace the quality of service currently offered by Sky. Whilst the £4.99/£5.99 price point seems pretty convincing I was interested to see exactly what movies each of the services had available and which movies they were missing. In a recent article I read that Netflix had negotiated exclusivity deals on new movies with Lionsgate and MGM so it would be interesting to see how much the catalogues actually differed.
I don’t have time to do a full cross reference (although I was tempted to script something up to scrape them) so I’ve chosen a selection of more recent films that I know have been made available for online streaming and a selection of much older films. I have checked each film on Sky Go, Lovefilm and Netflx as well as on Blinkbox which is not a subscription service but I thought was a useful comparison for streaming library completeness. I have ignored Lovefilm offerings where they are available on DVD but not for instant streaming.
|Lovefilm||Netflix||Sky Movies||Blinkbox (pay per view)|
|Cowboys and Aliens||NO||NO||NO *||YES(£3.49)|
|Rise of Plant of the Apes||NO||NO||NO *||YES(£3.49)|
|Harry Potter (8)||YES(£3.49)||NO||NO *||YES(£3.49)|
|The Hangover||YES||NO||NO **||YES (£2.49)|
|The Hangover 2||YES(£3.49)||NO||NO **||YES(£3.49)|
|Harry Potter (1)||NO||NO||NO **||YES (£2.49)|
|Plant of the Apes (1968)||YES||NO||NO||NO|
|The 39 Steps||NO||YES||NO||YES (FREE)|
|Blair Witch Project||NO||YES||NO||NO|
|Being John Malkovich||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|An American Werewolf in London||NO||YES||NO||YES(FREE)|
|Unlimited Streaming Subscription Price per month||£9.99||£5.99||£16.00||N/A|
|* available on demand. £3.99 each|
|** were previously available|
As we can see Netflix has pretty poor coverage at the moment compared to Lovefilm in terms of newer releases while Netflix seems to be better in terms of back catalogue. Out of the three subscription services Sky has the best coverage across the board, one limitation of the Sky Go service is the total number of movies that they have available at any one time which does change regularly, I have marked those movies which I know that I have watched on Sky Go on my Xbox previously. The Blinkbox pay per view model would work out expensive to watch 10-15 movies a month although they do have a large selection of free movies available – the quality of which does vary. Blinkbox also announced today that they were making streaming available for free on some titles if you buy the DVD in Tesco stores and provide your clubcard details (Tesco own Blinkbox).
I’m not planning on moving away from Sky yet, but it will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few months and whether Netflix start to strengthen their catalogue with more studio deals. Meanwhile Lovefilm’s new owner, Amazon, will be sure to strengthen their streaming business in light of the Kindle Fire potentially getting a UK release later this year.
UPDATE – Blinkbox have got in touch to say that some of the movies that were marked as unavailable are actually available. I’ve updated those that are available to stream (some are only available to purchase)