Archive for July, 1999

Watching The Web: BlackStar

Friday, July 16th, 1999

The Web site of Britain’s biggest video store is full of information on any film that has been released in the U.K. Whether you want to buy a film or find out more trivia on one of the old classics, the site is an entertaining and useful resource. is a bit like an Amazon for movies, but because of its smaller scale, you personalize profiles that let you know when your favorite movies are on sale, or when commemorative editions of your favorite series are being released. To look for a film, you can search through the extensive listings by title or genre. If a film is no longer in the Black Star inventory, the company searches for the film and sends it to you. Perhaps the site’s biggest advantage is that it offers free delivery of its films to anywhere in the world.

CyberMarket Sweep

Thursday, July 1st, 1999

Alongside established retailers making experimental forays into Internet trading, new companies are being set up exclusively for e-business. Black Star ( is an e-business that sells videos. It claims to be the leading UK site in its market, and report massive growth over the past few months. “Free access seems to have doubled the amount of people online,” says Jeremy Glover, Black Star’s marketing director. “It’s growing massively by the month, and if there are eight million online in the UK now, there may be 25 million by 2003.”

Black Star offers a huge selection of videos, including a massive catalogue of older ‘arty’ titles, and does good business in these, rather than the Hollywood top ten. “We’ll take any form of payment, ” says Glover, “but customers now seem a lot less worried about giving their details online. In any case, we go well out of our way to hold people’s hands. We’re secure and up front about who we are and what we are, and let people know they’re dealing with human beings. You’ll get a handwritten delivery slip when your order arrives, for example.”