Redbox was a brilliant idea when it first started popping up around local grocery stores and pharmacies. It sure beat making a second stop at Blockbuster or Hollywood video, and it was cheaper. The concept of Redbox was simple: rent a movie for $1 and return it the next day. Or you could even buy the video if you wanted to. Redbox is part of the reason Blockbuster and Hollywood Video went belly up, along with Netflix. But now that more services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and Crackle are available, it just might be Redbox’s turn to slowly starve.
The days of physical media are waning and it won’t be too much longer that the DVD sections in stores is down to an aisle or two. While people are still using Redbox, the adoption of streaming services is hurting the business and the company attempted to fight back with a streaming service of their own. Just over four years ago the company partnered with Verizon to offer a competitor to Netflix with Redbox Instant, which was short lived. Now the company is back for round two and testing out yet another streaming service they hope will keep them from a blockbuster failure. This time it’s being called “Redbox Digital.”
“We are testing a potential new transactional digital VOD and EST [electronic sell through, also known as “download to own”] offering, with a small subset of our customers, designed to complement our core kiosk rental business,” a company spokesperson told PCMag in an email. “As we test and learn from our customers, we will make evaluations that determine any future course of action.”
There has been no pricing announcements or any sort of launch plans either. Right now it seems there is a very select group of testers for the service so we’ll know more as the company releases more information. What do you think of Redbox’s second dive into streaming services? Do you still rent their $1.50 DVD’s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.