Redbox Streaming Service Doesn't Cut It
Austin Carr: It makes no sense to opt for this over competitors
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2013 1:08 PM CST
A rental DVD is dispensed from a Redbox kiosk.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file)

(Newser) – Austin Carr reviews the new movie-streaming venture from Redbox and Verizon, and about the only positive thing he has to say is that it's still in beta and might get better. The rest of the review of Redbox Instant is on the savage side, with Carr making the case at Fast Company that it makes no sense to pick it over competitors such as Netflix. It costs a modest $8 a month, but the selection is seriously limited—no TV shows?!—as is the number of devices on which movies can be streamed.

Company execs giver boilerplate answers about "brand equity" when asked to explain what differentiates Redbox Instant, but "brand equity" is probably not a big selling point for people who want to settle in with a good flick. And sure, subscribers can make use of the physical Redbox kiosks found in stores, but this is, after all, supposed to be a digital service. It "deserves time to grow," concludes Carr. "But as of now, I doubt if even shareholders of Verizon or Redbox's parent company Coinstar would want to use this service over Netflix or Amazon Prime." Click for Carr's full column.

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Jan 11, 2013 10:11 AM CST
I am always a bit concerned when I have to sign up for a service before I can see what titles are available to stream. I am a bix Redbox supporter because I like the fact I can rent a movie for under $2.00, but the new instant service seems like the same flavor of vanilla. I join Amazon Prime every year to get free two day shipping on the stuff I buy and they throw in streaming (basically the same content as Netflix and Redbox) for free. I like the idea of getting four moives each month at no additional cost, however, I can't justify spending an additional $4.00 on such limited content. I just dropped netflix streaming because their options were far too limited. ODOW80 - You are 100% correct. Steven Jobs felt the same way about pricing songs on itunes and he constantly fought the music industry when they pressured him to charge more for content. There is a point at which a consumer decides that it is no longer worth the price and turns to other avenues to get the content. The entertainment industry finds it necessary to keep prices artifically high and then wonders why people turn to file sharing sites and pirated content.
Jan 8, 2013 9:54 PM CST
When they restore our legal right to buy and copy recorded media to play on our own personal devices in our homes at the time and place of our choosing I'll take a look at their streaming ideas. Oh wait if they restore our former legal rights they won't be able to over charge us to view at less quality in a plan like the auto rental business. Forget about it. I'll stick to low cost one up video rentals allowing me to avoid becoming one of their monthly lease suckers. And yes I get my programming from OTA. Why not when 95% on all of cable and satellite is ad supported anyhow, well ad and exorbitant streaming fees for the same movies I can rent for less? Not to mention they charge extra for HD content. No extra for OTA.
Jan 8, 2013 1:46 PM CST
These services will never be great because the 2-3 media conglomerates that own rights to all the best movie catalogs refuse to participate. They're desperately clinging to the pricing structure of yesteryear. If digital movies could be easily rented/streamed for $1-2, these corporations would make billions. Instead, they insist on charging $4-$6 a pop, a ridiculous amount. Just look at mobile apps, they are a few bucks each and people don't hesitate to buy them. Black markets only thrive when the legal markets are rigged.