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Still ‘early days’ for Lovefilm content strategy

Group_Shot_Crossing_Lines_TCAmazon-owned VOD service Lovefilm is looking to up its exclusive content and original show commissions, though chief marketing officer Simon Morris has admitted it is still “early days” for the firm.

Speaking to TBI and sister publication DTVE at the press launch of Crossing Lines, the latest in a string of original drama series that Lovefilm has secured for the UK, Morris said Lovefilm was still trying out different types of content for the online service.

“We’re trying library content, we’re trying exclusive first-pay content, we’re trying exclusive first-pay movie exclusive, first exclusive TV content. It’s early days – this is a really pioneering time for this business, so it would be fair to say we are experimenting in different areas,” said Morris.

Part of the firm’s strategy rests on Amazon’s commissioning of its own exclusive shows through its US content arm Amazon Studios. This has involved a process where the firm selects shows from a broader range of pilots using viewer data and feedback. The first two of these shows – Alpha House and Betas are in production now, with more comedy pilots to appear next year.

“We have a lot of information about customer preferences that we can use to inform our decisions about what new content we bring to the market,” said Morris.

“We’re not a Syfy Channel or a Horror Channel. What we do have in this great age of big data, as a data-driven business, is the ability to be able to think about not only how people view but also the types of content we might want to buy.”

Commenting specifically on the appeal of internationally cooproduced crime drama Crossing Lines, which Lovefilm has the exclusive rights to in the UK and is due to launch this week, Morris said: “We like the international aspect, we like the potential fit with our audience; it’s already out in the States, Italy, Spain and France, so it’s starting to find a water level with consumers there, and that’s obviously interesting for us to watch.”

Reporting by Andrew McDonald and Jesse Whittock