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Friday, 22 November 2013

The Best UK Pay As You Go On-Demand Service: Sainsbury's?

I started off last week with the intent of putting together a blog about the best movies you can watch on-demand on a budget. Using Tank Top Movies filter feature, I searched only for films that are currently available for under £1. Try it out for yourself- there are hundreds of films out there you can catch on a budget- plenty even for free on services such as Crackle. As I started to pick out the, in my opinion, better films available under a pound, more often than not it was Sainsbury's offering the lowest price point.

Honestly, this came as a bit of a surprise to me. What baffles me the most is why Sainsbury's is remaining so quiet about it? The company are sitting on what turns out to be a fairly strong library of films, that covers both modern releases and genuine classics, but more importantly, often at a price point much more compelling than any of their competitors'. Rivals in the pay as you go model are regularly charging comfortably over double Sainsbury's prices. Even for the latest releases Sainsbury's is demonstrating a willingness to lower its price point. The Wolverine's On-demand release just last week is a good example. While Sainsbury's renting price of £1.99* is roughly £1.50 cheaper than anywhere else, its purchase price of £7.99 also bests Itunes' £8.99 offering.

* The Wolverine is now £3.49 to rent at Sainsbury's- now Despicable Me 2 is the new release being offered at the £1.99 price point. Thanks to Marc Burrage.

What's going on over at Sainsbury's then to prompt these lower prices and why is the marketing team being so quiet about it? The service is providing some of the best deals, but you won't find it advertised as such anywhere. There is not even an official twitter account for the Sainsbury's Entertainment side of the business and you will only find tweets promoting Christmas shopping on the twitter accounts Sainsbury's do run. Despite boasting what I would regard as the best pay as you go demand service currently, the company seem to have little interest in letting people know that's the case.

Interestingly, last week Sainsbury's did notify customer's who use Sainsbury's Entertainment, that it would no longer as of February 2014 sell physical media online, and would only offer an on-demand service. In the new year are we going to see a bigger push to spread the word and grow the on-demand side of its business perhaps? Christmas shopping in stores is clearly its number 1 priority right now. Let's be honest, when you think of Sainsbury's, VOD services are not the first thing that come to mind- and you have to imagine it will be a mightily difficult task for Sainsbury's to manage its brand if it does try and change that state of affairs. If the company is able to commit to its market leading prices however, its got all the chance in the world of growing and succeeding in the VOD market.

So in the search for the best movies to watch on a budget, instead I offer to you the best service to use on a budget. Here's a list of 10 of the best offerings from Sainsbury's currently available for the cracking price of 99p.


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By Matthew Taylor