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For further information: Dirk Singer, 0207 360 6061

* Original amazon.co.uk founder + team behind new venture that will reinvent the video rental business *

With the launch of screenselect.co.uk consumers can wave goodbye to late fines from the video store. With online ordering, free next day delivery, no late fees, a monthly ‘all you can watch’ subscription and the largest selection of DVD titles to rent in the UK, screenselect.co.uk is due to turn the traditional DVD rental market on its head.

The awkward customer experience of high street rental – having to pay for returning a film late, turning up at the video shop and not finding anything to watch, and arriving at the shop when it had already closed – made company founders William Reeve and Alex Chesterman question why the traditional movie rental industry couldn’t be “amazoned.”

The idea was to offer the consumer 24 hour access to an unrivalled selection of titles at a price that beat more traditional stores hands down. As a result, they secured the backing and expertise of amazon.co.uk’s original founder and MD, Dr Simon Murdoch who has joined as deputy chairman. A number of other key members of the original amazon.co.uk team are also on board.

“UK consumers are long overdue a service such as this”, says Simon Murdoch. “With screenselect.co.uk there are no more late trips to the video store, no more frantic runs to avoid late fees, no more queuing or hassles to find a movie and no more traffic, parking ticket or weather issues.”

screenselect.co.uk offers the largest range of DVD titles to rent in the UK. Over 12,500 DVDs will be offered online, ten times more than the average video rental store. That means that an art-house, classic film or foreign film fan will be just as well catered for as someone wanting to rent a recent box office hit. Subscribers wanting to watch arts, sports or documentary DVDs will also find what they want.

Subscribers also benefit from an ‘all you can watch’ subscription. For a fixed monthly fee of £14.99, subscribers get to keep a revolving library of three DVDs with no limit as to how long they can keep each one (see attached sheet for details of how ScreenSelect works). Once they 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.

According to Simon Murdoch, “renting two DVDs a week from a video store will generally cost you at least £24 a month. As we have a flat fee, with screenselect.co.uk, watching those same eight DVDs will be almost £10 cheaper. Plus with the biggest selection of DVDs in the UK we are more likely to have what customers want, and the process of returning each item simply involves a walk to the nearest post box.”

screenselect.co.uk has based its service on one pioneered successfully by US company Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq – NFLX / ), a company which now has 5.5% of the American DVD rental market and a subscriber base of over 1.2 million.

According to Simon Murdoch, “We’re very confident that the service can be successfully replicated in the UK, since we have got comparable DVD penetration rates and similar consumption patterns for filmed entertainment.

“It may in fact be an even better and more convenient service than in the US because we can reach practically every UK household overnight. Therefore if you send a DVD back today, we will usually receive it next day and despatch your next title for you to receive on the second working day.”

To coincide with the launch, screenselect.co.uk is also offering a free ten-day, no obligation trial to anyone who signs up.

ENDS

For further information
Call the screenselect.co.uk press office on 0207 360 6061 or 6069

Management Biographies

Alex Chesterman, BSc, aged 33, Executive Chairman

Alex Chesterman graduated with an honours degree in Economics from London University and has spent his entire career in the development, creation and marketing of brands and business concepts internationally. Alex joined Planet Hollywood International Inc. from its inception in 1991 and served as Executive Vice President until his resignation in November 1998. Alex has since advised a number of businesses on retail and marketing strategies worldwide and recently founded the Bagelmania chain.

William Reeve, M.Eng, aged 30, Managing Director

William Reeve graduated top of his course with a first class Masters degree from Oxford University. His early career included time at IBM, Marks & Spencer and Natwest Bank prior to joining McKinsey & Co as a management consultant. In 1997, William founded Fletcher Research, which he successfully developed into the UK’s leading Internet research firm before selling the business to Forrester Research (Nasdaq - FORR). William subsequently joined Forrester as European Group Director where he remained until early 2002. William is acknowledged to be one of the few Internet success stories in the UK and is considered amongst the leading young entrepreneurs and was one of Revolution’s top 100 e-commerce industry figures.

Dr Simon Murdoch, aged 42, Deputy Chairman

Simon Murdoch has a first class degree from Cambridge University and a PhD in Computer Science. In 1996, Simon founded Bookpages to sell books on the Internet and sold the company in early 1998 to Amazon.com. Simon subsequently became Managing Director of Amazon.co.uk, launching the service in October 1998 and was appointed VP Europe for Amazon.com. Simon then co-founded Episode 1 Partners, a venture capital firm managing the $100m Chase Episode 1 fund, which invested in early stage Internet and technology companies. Simon has been a successful early stage technology investor and is considered one of the UK’s leading Internet entrepreneurs.

How it works

1) Sign up online at www.screenselect.co.uk . Currently anyone who signs up benefits from a ten day, no obligation free trial during which they can watch DVDs for free

2) Create your wish-list of DVDs, and indicate which titles you prefer to watch first

3) ScreenSelect posts you your first three titles, first class through the Royal Mail. You have as long to watch these as you like – there are no late fees

4) When you have finished watching a DVD, simply put it in the pre paid return envelope, and put it in the post

5) ScreenSelect then sends you another title from your wish-list

6) Based on DVDs you have watched and rated, ScreenSelect puts together a personalised recommendation list for you. As with Amazon, Screenselct customers can also read and submit reviews on the site

7) When your wish-list goes below 10 titles, ScreenSelect sends you an email reminder asking you to top it up


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Cow PR LLP in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.