Beleaguered retailer HMV has announced a new online rental service as it continues to move into new digital channels.

The new offering at went live today with new releases Bad Teacher and X-Men: First Class.

Users will be able to choose from hundreds of movies from more than 30 distributors, including all the main Hollywood studios, with rentals costing £3.75.

But HMV’s online service, powered by on-demand rental provider FilmFlex, is just the latest offering in what is fast becoming a saturated market.

Lovefilm, YouTube and Tesco’s BlinkBox already offer consumers digital downloads, while US online video service Netflix is set to enter the UK market in early 2012.

Competition is already hotting up, with paidContent reporting yesterday that Lovefilm has bought up keyword ads against searches for ‘Netflix’ on Google.

And HMV's tie up with FilmFlex. a joint venture from Sony Music and Disney, hardly gives it a headstart on its competitors as it also supplies content to Film4oD and Virgin Media.

Coupled with its existing digital music service, HMV's on-demand video offering is further evidence of its ambitions to move into new digital channels.

But it is going up against some established names in on-demand movie rentals, and at the moment it doesn't look like HMV's download service offers enough to make it stand out above the crowd.

David Moth

Published 24 November, 2011 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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