Lovefilm taps Lavender for digital


LONDON -- Europe-wide online DVD distributor Lovefilm said Monday that it has acquired the services of BBC digital guru Ben Lavender to lead the company's digital charge.

Lavender, who most recently was one of the founders and evangelists of the BBC iPlayer, joins Lovefilm as group digital and product director.

He joins fresh from the launch of the iPlayer, the online TV catch-up download service, which he pioneered and directed during his time at the pubcaster.

At Lovefilm, Lavender is charged with developing the company across the U.K., Nordic countries and Germany and also will be responsible for the strategy and execution of Lovefilm's digital service.

Lavender has previously enjoyed stints at U.K.'s Five channel, MTV Europe, Callsoft, the Walt Disney Co. and DTZ.

"Lovefilm presents the next big opportunity for advancement in the digital download arena," Lavender said. "At a time when video shops are becoming obsolete, the future for the film industry, both for rental and download opportunities undoubtedly lies online."

Added Lovefilm CEO Simon Calver, "(Lavender) is well respected as an innovator within his field and his expertise in the digital market and his knowledge of Digital Rights Management stands Lovefilm in good stead to continue the pace of growth in our progression into the download-to-burn market."