Tuesday, 30 June 2009

LOVEFiLM API Program - looking for developer

LOVEFiLM are looking into an API that can be used to develop apps and widgets for our customers and also for affiliates and partners to use to drive new customers that they will get paid for. Below is the full 1 pager that outlines our plans - email Jason.Norris@lovefilm.com if you are interested and I can put you in touch with the guys in our tech department that are working on this.

LOVEFiLM are currently working on an API Programme to enable 3rd parties to securely access our data in order to build custom applications and widgets.


Engaging with LOVEFiLM’s API provides exciting opportunities to:

gain access to a wide range of LOVEFiLM and 3rd party content
develop custom integrations in partner sites
increase partner traffic through sticky content
increase partner revenue through initiating member registrations, which may lead to full subscriber sign-up

Our preliminary research suggests key interest areas include simply enabling customers to display their LOVEFiLM activity on other websites, blogs and social networks – for example, exposing their ‘at home’ or rental list, or their ratings and reviews. Customers may like to have an automatic Facebook update when they add a movie to their list, or perhaps Tweet when they rate a movie, for example.
In addition to these customer needs, there are great opportunities for partner sites who may wish to build widgets to display specific charts / genres on their site, or to make a custom LOVEFiLM collection to display with synopsis, ratings, reviews, images, trailers, etc.

Developers may also like to build widgets to search for titles to view and add to list, in a variety of new ways – longer term this could be integrated into a hardware from set-top boxes to cameras, or scanning tools in handheld devices.

There also may be opportunities for partner websites to display LOVEFiLM gift options to initiate a purchase remotely, or to send/show a customer personalized cinema listings for their local or favourite cinemas.

In addition to LOVEFiLM customer data such as reviews and ratings, we also have content from multiple 3rd parties that we may be able to expose in various ways – this could include select charts and reviews from critics, or additional images or trailers. Whilst we are in the early stages of the programme, we are yet to confirm exactly how such 3rd party content may be used and branded on widgets outside of LOVEFiLM’s site.

Naturally, the scope of opportunities with an API is very broad, so our next step is to identify what our customers and partners are really looking for in this service, so that we can deliver the most exciting and focused product possible. Above are just a few simple ideas of what we think our partners may be looking for – but we hope to gather as much information from you as possible in the coming weeks about the sort of widgets and applications you would like to build, in order for us to provide value to you as early as possible.

Available Features

We are currently developing APIs to expose:

Catalogue data (title, synopsis, rating, certificate, image/s, trailer, contributors, reviews);
Viewing or adding a rating of/to a title
Viewing collections
Viewing charts (including Weekly rental, Weekly TV rental, Blu-ray top 20, All-time top 250, BFI Top 100, AFI Top 100)
Customer Rental List (at home list, Rental List, View, add and delete titles)

This development is already underway and will be reviewed shortly in an internal alpha. There are further additional features already in discussion internally for possible inclusion in the beta, which we would be able to confirm at a later date.

Closed Beta

We are working with a 3rd party – Mashery – to manage our API, from providing access and handling calls to the API, to providing a range of tools and resources, such as usage reporting & developer forums.

LOVEFiLM will be holding a closed beta within Q3. Invited participants will then be able to access the service to build applications targeting new and exciting niche areas and customer needs using these APIs.

Next Steps

Not sure what this all means? Please pass on to your appropriate technical lead and we would be happy to discuss in more detail. Our next step is be to hold a session in the LOVEFiLM offices for parties who would like to register their interest in participating in the closed beta, to provide an opportunity to discuss technical logistics and also high-level discussion of available features and data. We would warmly welcome your thoughts, comments and requests for specific feature exposure via API and look forward to discussing this further.


andrew said...

LOVETHIS idea of opening an API for developers and 3rd parties.. been looking at the open source media center front ends and wondering if LOVEFILM would be suitable for this area.. one in particular pops to mind and that's Boxee - http://www.boxee.tv at present they have apple trailers, bbciplayer, hulu(america only) netflix(america only) and many other feeds that can't be accessed by the uk.. I for one am in the pc in the living room crowd and am looking for an app that can serve my content from the web and localdrives as well as give me access to social media.. if it could log me into my LOVEFILM account as well, I would be a very happy bunny.. Joost and Microsofts MCE are 2 other very nice apps - Apple Tv and also DIVX connected boxes could all be potential ports/uses of the API for customers - I think the key thing is diversity in applications for you customers - we all access media in very different ways, and opening this out to the app building community will only strenghthen the roll out of LOVEFILMS brand and services. Look forward to the coming months of development work, I'm able to beta test anything you have - As I own all of the apps or devices mentioned above.


Andrew Minton
Avid Film buff and tech geek

Jasonorris said...

Hi Andrew

Can you get in touch please and I can try and get you added to the beta test - I just need your email address.


Anup said...

Thumbs up for this idea! I haven't checked yet, but I think there is no iPhone app for Lovfilm.

This api will enable third party developers to build an iphone app.