VideoIsland, one of the UK’s two largest online DVD rental companies, has bought smaller rival DVDs365, as consolidation in the sector accelerates. Last September, VideoIsland bought ScreenSelect.co.uk.
The latest deal also includes DVDs365’s sister brands Mailbox Movies, Movietrak and QFlicks.
However, the real significance of the move could be that Bill Dobbie, founder and managing director of DVDs365, has joined VideoIsland as an adviser to the board. Dobbie has been investing heavily in the digital delivery of movies for some years.
VideoIsland, which earlier this month raised an additional £5m of venture capital funding, claims that the acquisition of DVDs365 makes it the biggest operator in what is still a very crowded market, although rival LoveFilm disputes this.
One problem in assessing market share is that companies do not use a common format for reporting transactions – some provide membership figures, while others provide total number of DVDs mailed. VideoIsland says it is handling almost 1.5 million DVD shipments a month.
VideoIsland’s ScreenSelect branded service has marketing partnerships with Boots, Comet, Currys, Radio Times, Toys R Us, and Virgin Megastore. In addition to these, Video Island provides “white label” services to major companies, including easyGroup, ITV, MSN and Tesco.