For many years, Redbox has been the spiritual successor to the movie-renting behemoths of the 1990’s. Customers have been able to find the little red kiosks at places like grocery stores and rent a movie for a day. Now we've learned that Redbox will be venturing back into streaming on a trial basis.
A Redbox spokesperson revealed that they have started to test “Redbox Digital” with a few customers. The company stated, “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.”
Redbox has also a published an accompanying app for the iPad. The recently updated terms and conditions state that Redbox Digital will be available in the United States and its possessions, with the exception of Puerto Rico. The terms and conditions also note that once up and running, customers will be able to look at the cost of the item, how the item can be viewed, and, if the item is available for rental, the duration of the rental period.There is currently no information about what titles will be available for rental.
This is not the first time that Redbox has experimented in digital streaming. In 2013 the company introduced Redbox Instant in conjunction with Verizon. Over 5,000 titles could be rented and streamed for about $8 to $9 USD. The service was tied to the actual kiosks, so customers could earn free DVD’s. The app was even able to be streamed through Chromecast.
The service was shut down after eighteen months, however, due to underwhelming demand and its inability to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Redbox Instant’s competitors had a huge customer base and had already moved on to creating their own content. Let’s hope that the little red engine that could actually makes it up the hill this time.