Redbox, a DVD, Blu-ray and video game rental via automated retail kiosk, is launching its streaming service, and it’s called Redbox Digital. It is going to be the second time the company enters Netflix‘s turf.
In 2012 the company tested a streaming service alongside Verizon called Redbox Instant, which provided access to DVD rentals and streaming hits for $8 a month. It was a bold move to enter this market four years ago, especially given that was the time Netflix took over the leadership of the streaming services.
Redbox Instant died in 2014, with kiosk rentals still lurking around while the company plotted its next strategy. Currently, Redbox kiosk charges $1.5 per rental.
The company is trying again with Redbox Digital
A spokesperson said there is going to be an open a trial period, with a small subset of customers, to test the potential of the digital VOD (video on demand) and EST (electronic sell-through), also known as a download to own offering.
Variety magazine reports Redbox Digital will mirror other services that offer individual titles, including Vudu, iTunes and Google Play, while prices are expected to go higher than the typical rental fees.
The digital library will depend on the company’s deals with movie studios, which means that you could find some DVD’s that are not available for streaming. Although, Redbox Digital will have a much larger catalog than its physical counterpart, which handles a few hundred titles.
The company recently published an app and updated the terms of the service on its main site with a separate section dedicated to Redbox Digital. The service accompanying app is already available on the App Store, and the download page describes it as a platform to buy or rent movies on the web.
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At the moment, it can only be downloaded by members who are part of the trial period. Redbox Digital will likely support Google Chromecast and Roku devices.
Streaming like all of the other cool kids
The streaming service still doesn’t have an official date to launch across the globe, but It will probably happen in the next few months. Many people are wondering what they will do differently to compete against the industry commanders, Netflix and Hulu.
Last year, big names including Fandango, Fullscreen, Lionsgate, Defy Media’s ScreenJunkiesPlus, Time Inc, and Legendary Digital Networks either launched or announced plans for OTT (Over-The-Top Content) offerings.
Most of the major networks are also venturing into this space, with the launched of several “Play” type apps, such as HBO-GO or Fox-Go, as it seems the future of television might be in this kind of platforms where the customers have a lot of choices and do not depend on a cable operator.