RedBox Gets Red-y for Streaming Service

Those not familiar with the service should know that RedBox is basically a movie vending machine. You rent physical discs at $1 per day ($2 for Blu and games) using your credit card. I’ve used it a few times and since there are so many kiosks in my area, the catalog selection is pretty good (mostly if you’re looking for newer releases) and the discs are easy to return. It’s pretty slick actually.

Today on RedBox support site, there was a bit of a leak in which some images popped up of the company’s new streaming service designed to try and take on Netflix and Amazon.


Though difficult to make out from the leaked photos, details are that the service may, MAY launch as early as December 17th with dedicated apps for Android, iOS, and Xbox 360. Presumably you’ll be able to watch on your Mac/PC desktop as well (Silverlight plugin required).

Subscription prices begin at $6 per month with unlimited streaming, though content selection is said to be smaller than what is available on Netflix’s streaming catalog. But, Redbox Instant will expand beyond streaming with premium, VOD rentals and purchases (similar to Amazon) without a subscription and you’ll even be able to purchase movies which can be stored on select devices for later offline viewing. On top of all this, there is an $8 subscription plan that gives users credits for up to 4 DVD rentals per month at Redbox kiosk locations.

All of this sounds pretty darn great to me. Everything will ultimately depend on quality of the stream and the quantity and quality of the titles in the catalog. It’s probably safe to say that it will be nowhere near the size of Netflix’s catalog, but if you’re in an urban area and like the prospect of getting new releases right away, the promise of physical discs readily available is a very nice perk. All at a price less than Netflix.


  

Color me intrigued! I’l be keeping on eye out for this over the coming weeks and will likely at least give it a test drive. Without the ability to play the service on my PS3, I’ll have to settle for the mobile version, but at least I’ll be able to give it a run.

All of this reminds me, if you’ve actually bothered to read this article to here, the first five people to ask for them in the comments below, will get a RedBox promo code for one free title. If you’re not in the United States, they’re no good to you, but if you want one anyway to send to a friend or something, just ask! First five people get one.

8 comments

  1. If they could offer new releases for streaming at the same time they have the discs available, this would be attractive, and a good supplement to Netflix. Sounds like that’s not what they’re doing (or more likely, what they’re able to do thanks to the studios), which makes me wonder if they’ll be able to offer anything that I don’t already get via my Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Prime subscriptions. I don’t need another subscription streaming service offering the same stuff – I need one that can make the deals to get different stuff than the others (like Hulu did with Criterion).

  2. Matt Gamble

    Redbox has a 28 day waiting period from most of the studios, which is pretty similar to Netflix’s, though I know some are pushing for 56 day (I believe WB already enforces it thanks to Ultraviolet, which is even more pointless than Google+) Streaming tends to be even longer.

    Not sure what to think, they have a tiny catalog and pairing with Verizon seems like a smart idea, and they have McDonald’s money to back them. I can’t see this being anything that is big early, which may make it a difficult sell to people who are already devoted to the big three of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

    • I agree that it probably won’t be big. But for me, it will be a nice supplement to be able to pick up new release discs. But I have the luxury of having about 4 kiosks right on my daily commute.

      • But the disc rentals are so cheap (and as you say, convenient), does having the streaming service really add anything? Why not keep the bigger-cataloged streaming services and just continue to supplement with Redbox discs for the films you want immediately? Seems like that would be cheaper, since you’d be paying $8 for 4 disc rentals if you subscribed. Unless they have enough selection (or enough exclusives) on streaming to drop Netflix, anyway.

        I think I’m making Matt’s point as a subscriber to the three services he mentions. :) Maybe this would be attractive to someone who didn’t already have existing streaming subscriptions. Still depends on the catalog. People complain all the time about Netflix’s catalog being too small, so smaller seems unlikely to convince the unconvinced.

        • Yeah, I subscribe to all three as well and while I use Redbox, it is more for the most disposable of junk films and spur of the moment rentals.

          And Jandy is right, if people think Netflix’s catalog is small (which it isn’t) then people are going to lose their mind over Redbox’s. They’ve certinly got more money backing them than Netflix does, but so did Blockbuster. It just seems like a misstep to try and enter an already very crowded market when they’ve been dominating and growing like crazy in their particular niche.

  3. So over a week has gone by and NOT ONE person bothered to read the last paragraph of this article. Or nobody gives a shit – which is probably more likely.

  4. Interesting. Though I agree with Jandy, redbox has to do something different than what other stream services do. It seems redbox instant is Netflix with less content. Of course its in its beta right now, so we can’t really ask for much. Though I wish they would give maybe like 8 disc rentals or something, that would probably get more people into this stream service. As of right now I don’t think redbox is gonna profit from this streaming service.

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