Last summer it seemed like the subscription video segment in Scandinavia was heating up, as both Netflix and HBO announced plans to make their services available in that market. Now, less than a year later, Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM is pulling out of the region, the company has confirmed.
According to local press, LOVEFiLM Sweden sent emails to users alerting them of the service’s planned shutdown there. It will cease services and begin shutting down its website within the next 30 days, and has asked users to return DVDs.
LOVEFiLM, which started out as a sort of European Netflix, began offering DVDs by mail and eventually streaming video services in the U.K., Germany and Scandinavia. The company was acquired by Amazon about two-and-a-half years ago, operating as a wholly owned subsidiary in those markets.
The company said it will close down operations in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by August 11, after concluding a regulatory period of negotiation with employment unions for its employees. The company said that other Amazon services, including online retail and Kindle services, will not be affected by the LOVEFiLM shutdown.
That retreat comes in contrast to two other streaming competitors’ plans for the market: Last summer, both Netflix and HBO announced they would go after the Scandinavian market, by rolling out streaming video offerings in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
LOVEFiLM issued the following statement about its operations in the region:
LOVEFiLM has concluded a regulatory period of negotiation with employment unions on behalf of its employees in Sweden.
Staff at its Swedish offices – responsible for running LOVEFiLM’s Scandinavian service in Sweden, Norway and Demark – have been informed that the company will close its operations by August 11, 2013.
LOVEFiLM customers will be informed in good time of closing dates and provided with final payment details, guidance on streaming availability, and any other necessary information.
The closure of LOVEFiLM will not affect the availability of other Amazon services (e.g. online retail, Kindle Fire) to customers in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.