Redbox Testing New Movie Rental Streaming Service With Customers

by

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

(View all)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 months ago
How can streaming be MORE expensive than physical media rentals?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)
Avatar
53 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)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...