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Sony has announced it'll close its Crackle UK service as of April 1st.

A note on the Crackle UK website reads: "We'd like to thank all those who have supported and enjoyed Crackle UK. As of 1 April 2014, Crackle's UK service will no longer be operating."

Crackle is the home of Jerry Seinfeld's 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee' as well as 'Angel of Death', 'Star-ving' and 'American Dreamers'.

It offers free full-length films and TV shows, supported by adverts. It's thought having to fund the service through adverts only may have proved too big a challenge.

Crackle also operates in Canada, Australia, and almost 20 countries across Latin America. These international operations won't be affected by Crackle UK's closure.

The competition for UK streaming viewers has been hotting up recently. Netflix launched in the UK a couple of years ago, and last summer it announced it had around 1.5 million subscribers.

Amazon has retaliated by rebranding its LoveFilm service as Amazon Prime Instant Video, so it's more closely aligned with the Amazon brand.

It also made it impossible to subscribe to its video on demand service without taking out an Amazon Prime membership.

Prime members who don't want the video service will still have to pay more, for which Amazon has been criticised.

Both Amazon and Netflix have been trying to outbid each other for rights to British shows to lure in viewers.

Amazon recently announced it would fund a third series of the axed BBC period drama 'Ripper Street'.

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