Lovefilm Instant no more as Prime Instant Video takes its place

Amazon Prime Instant Video hits UK
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It's been a long time coming, but Amazon has finally decided to retire Lovefilm Instant and replace it with Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The streaming side of Lovefilm will turn into Prime Instant Video from February 26, with Amazon adding over 15,000 films and TV episodes to Amazon Prime accounts.

As well as streaming video, Prime members get unlimited one-day deliveries on all their Amazon orders, and access to 500,000 books to borrow in the Kindle reading library. Amazon is also adding the option to let customers rent and buy titles like Game of Thrones and Despicable Me 2 digitally to the service too.

Money talks

It all comes at a cost though: Amazon Prime membership is going up to £79 a year (it's currently an annual fee of £49).

While that works out at £6.50 a month - just a shade more than Netflix will set you back - there's no option to pay monthly so you'll have to come up with the £79 chunk in one go every year.

However, current Prime members will get the video goodness added to their account for no extra cost until their renewal date.

If you're not too fussed about speedy delivery, you can opt to stick with just the Prime Instant Video option for £5.99 a month, while fans of physical media and the Lovefilm brand can still subscribe to receive physical DVDs in the post by signing up to Amazon Lovefilm.

If you're already a Lovefilm Instant subscriber and haven't changed your account over to an Amazon one yet, you'll just have to follow some on-screen prompts to do so before you can start watching Amazon Instant Prime. Once you've done that, all your mobile, tablet, TV and game console apps should work as before.

So Lovefilm has come full circle, from just renting out discs, to streaming anything and everything, to just renting out discs again.

Amazon's also increasing the amount it spends on original programming and exclusive films as it continues to fight back against the Golden Globe winning Netflix, hoping that new exclusives like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Hangover Part 2 and, um, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked will entice you into signing up.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.