DVD rental company Redbox has started to test a new movie streaming and download service with some of its customers, according to Variety.
Known for its DVD rental kiosks, Redbox has dubbed its latest online service "Redbox Digital", which comes two years after the company shut down Redbox Instant, the ill-fated joint venture with Verizon that officially launched in early 2013.
The subscription-based service was patently unable to compete with the likes of Netflix, and Redbox has reportedly learned from the experience: it's staying away from subscriptions in order to concentrate on transactional video on demand, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.
An app for the service similar in appearance to Netflix showed up on the App Store last week, allowing trial users to stream or download content from the company's digital catalog. A company spokesmen contacted Variety via email to confirm the news:
We are testing a potential new transactional digital VOD and EST offering, with a small subset of our customers, designed to complement our core kiosk rental business. As we test and learn from our customers, we will make evaluations that determine any future course of action.
The Redbox Digital catalog is said to be dependent on the company's deals with movie studios, meaning some movies could be available at kiosks when they're not available for streaming. However, the digital catalog will have a much larger offering than kiosks, which usually only hold a few hundred titles.
No word was given on pricing, but typical one-off streaming costs are likely work out more expensive than the $1.50 Redbox customers currently pay for physical disc rentals.