Redbox has already wounded Blockbuster with its video kiosks, which rent DVDs for just $1 per night and are conveniently located in front of grocery stores, drug stores, and Walmarts. Now it could be taking on Netflix in the online movie-streaming business.
A recent survey Redbox has sent to its customers asks them how interested they would be in a $3.95 monthly package that would provide unlimited video streaming as well as four free DVD rentals. While a Redbox spokesperson was predictably noncommittal in its his response to PC Magazine ("It's not necessarily an indication of something that Redbox is interested in doing"), the company has presumably thought more than a little bit about such an offer.
Netflix currently offers unlimited streaming video on a number of different devices, ranging from PCs and Macs to video game consoles to the iPad, but you must already be a monthly subscriber to one of its unlimited DVD rental plans, which start at $8.95 per month. A Redbox streaming service could finally force Netflix to offer a dedicated video-streaming plan to customers for less, as many people (cough, cough) have long clamored for.
If Redbox were to transport its business model to the Internet, you could expect a smaller catalog of more popular titles, whereas Netflix would likely emphasize the size of its streaming catalog. Of course, each Blockbuster store has many more DVDs available to rent, and Redbox is still cleaning its clock. Whether Redbox can be as successful online is another story, but if it could put a little pricing pressure on Netflix, the competition would be welcome by consumers.
[Via High-Def Digest]