The UK ‘movie-on-demand’ battle is gathering pace, what with Netflix about to lock horns with LoveFilm, but as the Guardian reports, HMV has just thrown its hat into the ring, as it looks to counteract the huge in-store sales slump.

HMV is still one of the UK’s largest entertainment retail chains, and HMV Group has previously acquired the likes of Waterstone’s (bookstore chain), Fopp (music retailer) and a selection of Zavvi entertainment retail outlets. But with the online entertainment gathering momentum, HMV has closed around 30 stores in recent months, and now it has partnered with FilmFlex, a joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and The Walt Disney Company, to get in on the film-on-demand act.

The service will be known as hmvon-demand, offering movies from more than 30 film distributors – including the major Hollywood studios, and is soft-launching today. The new service will be available on PCs, though there are plans to extend it to other digital devices in the future.

In addition to the likes of LoveFilm and the soon-to-be-launching Netflix, YouTube also launched its own movie-rental service in the UK back in October, and we can expect to see a great deal more competition entering this space in the near future. More competition means better deals for the customer, right?