Two ambitious online DVD rental services have launched into the UK within a week of each other - both looking to tap into the booming DVD market.
Screenselect.co.uk is backed by the founder of Amazon UK, while the directors of rival service Videoisland.com include Simon Franks, chief executive of distributor Redbus.
Both services claim to offer a library of over 12,000 titles to subscribers, allowing them to browse and order films over the internet. The DVDs are then dispatched by post and returned in pre-paid first class envelopes.
Based on the US service pioneered by Neflix, Screenselect.co.uk says that its service costs subscribers a fixed monthly fee of £14.99. This allows them to keep a revolving library of three DVDs in their possession at any one time with no limit as to how long they can keep each one. Once subscribers have watched each title, they post it back in a pre paid envelope. As soon as it is received a new DVD from the subscriber's wish list is despatched.
Screenselect is fronted by executive chairman Alex Chesterman, formerly an executive vice president at Planet Hollywood; managing director William Reeve, formerly European Group Director of Forrester Research, and deputy chairman Dr Simon Murdoch, launch managing director of amazon.co.uk.
Videoisland.com says that its flat monthly membership starts at £12.99 and that it has no due dates and no late fees.
Videoisland.com is headed by chief executive and founder Saul Klein, who previously launched The Electronic Telegraph and Fantasy Football and was group programme manager for Web Platform Services at Microsoft in Seattle.
Other board members include Redbus's Franks, Retail Variations chairman Robin Klein; and George Coelho and Danny Rimer, respectively partners at Benchmark Capital and Index Ventures, the venture capital firms which have together invested £2.1 million in Video Island.