High street retailer finally enters VOD space in bid to combat physical DVD slump.

UK retailer HMV has partnered with Sony and Disney enterprise FilmFlex to launch an HMV branded VOD service.

The ‘Hmvon-demand’ site will offer ‘hundreds’ of recent titles from up to 30 distributors including all major studios and UK independents.

Early titles available will include Cars 2, Zookeeper, Rio, X-Men: First Class and Bad Teacher. Forthcoming films include Horrible Bosses on November 28, The Hangover Part 2 on December 12 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on December 5. 

The hmv on-demand service will initially be offered via PC with content available on a rental basis to watch on or offline. Future viewing and storage options will include download-to-own and cloud-based locker services.

The service soft launches today before a hard launch in January and is the latest move in music retailer HMV’s drive to stem a company decline which has seen 30 stores close in recent months. The company announced a 15% drop in sales in September.

FilmFlex operates significant VOD services with Virgin Media as well as Channel 4.

Mark Hodgkinson, HMV marketing & e-commerce director, said: “We’re excited to be working with FilmFlex to launch hmvon-demand and offer our loyal and significant customer base a best-in-class movies-on-demand service. As an entertainment brand built on specialist choice our remit has always been to enable people to discover and enjoy content however and whenever they want. With a growing number of consumers now incorporating video-on-demand into their viewing and purchasing habits, the time is right to include a digital service into our own offer. Partnering with FilmFlex will allow us to extend our brand into new areas and deepen the relationship with our customers.”