Redbox to stream movies, too


Maybe a little late in the game, but certainly not unexpected: Redbox wants to compete head-to-head Netflix by stepping into the video streaming game. The LA Times reports the Coinstar-owned company will offer a subscription-based service that lets customers stream films on various devices and rent discs from kiosks. Redbox has not yet announced what company it will partner with to provide the streaming, however, the Times notes that several have confirmed that is in talks with studios to “acquire content for a Netflix-like subscription movie streaming service set to launch soon, making it a likely candidate to be Redbox’s partner.”

We’ve reported that Amazon is also launching a similar model sometime in the near future, so it’s entirely possible.

At a meeting with analysts last week, Redbox President Mitch Lowe said his company’s digital option will be subscription-based streaming instead of a transactional service where consumers pay separately for each movie. A single monthly fee would be charged.

RBR-TVBR observation: In Coinstar’s last fiscal quarter, Redbox revenue came in below expectations, so the streaming option is gaining ground in the marketplace. In Redbox’s case, it can lag behind Netflix’s debut of new releases, just because of the distribution model, and the studios are holding firm on their 28-day delays after new movie releases. If Amazon partnered with Redbox for the streaming service, they could be a real competitor to Netflix. Not to mention, selected DVDs could be offered up in Redbox kiosks. Note that it will take time for them to roll out the compatible devices, apps and software for streaming.