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.

redboxThe 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.

Tag: Redbox

Top Rated Comments

jermy4 Avatar
76 months ago
I guess they're comparing with similar digital rentals already offered by iTunes and whatnot. Although I agree they should undercut existing services if they expect to it to survive this time round.
If they can match the prices the kiosks are charging it could be a success just based on convenience alone.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cyberlocke Avatar
76 months ago
It's simple economics that how. There is a premium on convenience. It takes more time and effort to go to a kiosk & then have to return it next day. That diminishes it's value compared to streaming which is "on demand," even at 1am, doesn't have to be returned w/i 24hrs.

Also streaming permits a larger library than a physical RedBox can hold so in many instances streaming is the only way to rent a video which also allows for a higher price.

I don't see where RedBox can compete in this space though unless they undercut Apple and Amazon. I'm unsure the movie companies will allow it unless maybe RedBox only gets titles 30 or 60 days after Apple and Amazon.
I think this is where supply and demand doesn't quite fit the digital economy. It's done simply to maximize profit. And technically the supply is greater with digital streaming, therefore if demand remains the same, cost should actually go down.

Convenience should have nothing to do with it. Digital is all about convenience, it's inherent. By your logic, everything digital should cost more. That's not the future I was promised. Otherwise we'd just be adding layers of luxury, not actually improving anything.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
furi0usbee Avatar
76 months ago
How can streaming be MORE expensive than physical media rentals?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Telos101 Avatar
76 months ago
How can streaming be MORE expensive than physical media rentals?
I guess they're comparing with similar digital rentals already offered by iTunes and whatnot. Although I agree they should undercut existing services if they expect to it to survive this time round.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DogHouseDub Avatar
76 months ago
Seeing people lined up at the local Redbox always feels like a statement on the US socioeconomic chasm...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
76 months ago
How can streaming be MORE expensive than physical media rentals?
I think that with physical media, Redbox counts on you losing the disk or forgetting to return it quickly enough.

So though they advertise prices as low as $1-2, they're counting on the fact that, on average, someone will have the disk for say, 2.5 days, so actually, on average they're making $2.50-$5 per rental.

I wonder if they could have the same kind of model with a streaming service, where you have to explicitly press a "return" button somewhere on the website, and they don't offer any reminders that that button has to be pressed after the movie is watched.

It'd seem sleazy and apparent that the're counting on users forgetting to hit that button, but they've always been counting on users forgetting to return the disk, so this is no different morally... it's just a bit more transparent that that's how they subsidize the service for people who actually remember.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
iOS 16 mock for article

Which Devices Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Support?

Thursday May 12, 2022 7:29 am PDT by
While there are as yet no concrete rumors related to which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week may be an indication that as many as nine devices could be about to lose support for Apple's upcoming operating systems. iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15 support all of the same devices, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus,...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
sony

Sony Unveils Redesigned WH-1000XM5 Headphones With Improved Noise Cancelation

Thursday May 12, 2022 9:26 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and today Sony announced its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones, boasting a new design and several improvements over the previous model. The redesigned headphones replace the shrouded arms that swivel on the XM4's with an exposed arm that has a single contact point at the earcups,...
apple tv 4k design clue

Kuo: New Apple TV to Launch in Second Half of 2022, Lower Price Possible

Friday May 13, 2022 7:58 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch a new version of the Apple TV in the second half of 2022, according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet today, Kuo said the new Apple TV will have an improved cost structure, suggesting that the device could have a lower price that is more competitive with other streaming media players like Google's Chromecast line, Amazon's Fire TV line, and the Roku line. ...
iPhone 14 Purple Feature

Full Range of iPhone 14 Color Options Revealed by Purported Leak From China

Wednesday May 11, 2022 2:20 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models will be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color, according to a recent rumor. The claim comes from a post on Chinese social media site Weibo by an unverified source and purports to reveal the full range of color options for Apple's upcoming iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. Compared to the selection of color...