€1m invested in new Irish online video store

23 Aug 2006

Two brothers have ploughed €1m into an online movie rental store that they believe could shake up the Irish DVD rental market. The Moviestar.ie service offers unlimited DVD and game rental from €9.99 a month and its owners aim to have 25,000 Irish subscribers by summer 2007.

Brothers Gavin (29) and Iain (27) McConnon estimate that the online DVD and games rental market in Ireland is worth €35m a year.

They say the traditional high-street rental business is under threat. In the US the trend of online rental has transformed the market, making online player Netflix a US$1.3bn player. In contrast to this, traditional players like Blockbuster have been forced to close many outlets.

“‘We took inspiration from the American and European movie rental market and added our own signature to create Moviestar.ie,” said Iain McConnon.

“The Irish market is new to online movie rental, but statistics and other markets show that this is a huge growth area. We are very optimistic about the future of online movie rental in Ireland.”

With the Moviestar.ie service movie buffs can choose from an extensive list of DVDs as well as games for the PlayStation2, Xbox and Xbox 360.

“We expect the online rental market in Ireland to exceed 200,000 subscribers over the next five years,” says Gavin McConnon, “making this a €35m per annum business.

“Moviestar.ie plans to grow its subscriber base to more than 25,000 by summer 2007,” he said.

The brothers say they plan to embark on a major promotional and advertising drive as part of a launch that will include a free DVD player offer.

“We have studied the market over the last 12 months both here and in the UK, and feel that Ireland is still pretty much a virgin market, and the potential for growth is huge. We have a fantastic offer for all new members, when they sign up we will give them a free DVD player,” said Gavin McConnon.

By John Kennedy