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Lovefilm calls in the DRM brigade for media player push

They're all at it

Lovefilm

Lovefilm is the UK's answer to Netflix. And like Netflix it has a pressing problem. No, not Blockbuster.

It has reams of customers, 1.4 million all told, for its DVD-by-mail rental service. But for how long? Downloads and streaming is the way forward, baby - onto TV, phone and computer - the three screens strategy, as Virgin has taken to calling it.

Netflix is doing well enough on the streaming front, but Lovefilm? It has the mail order customers and it has its own streaming media player. You can access this online or as an app on some Sony and Samsung TV sets. Does anyone do this?

Anyhows, the company is not sitting on mail-rental laurels. Today it signed up a US company called Widevine to supply the digital rights management (DRM) and video optimisation technology for its streaming service. Presumably, this will give rights holders confidence that their content will remain unpirated.

Lovefilm may have started in the UK, but it also has subscribers in Germany and Scandinavia.

Good luck to the company, but Lovefilm is unlikely to emerge as a winner in the internet media player wars. And I am speaking as a fan.

Standing in the way are, in no particular order, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon (maybe), the BBC, BT, Virgin, Sky.. and that's just in the UK.

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