Redbox Instant Sets Rates

Dave Zatz —  December 12, 2012

redbox-instant

While Verizon and Redbox’s joint venture may be running a bit behind schedule, the Netflix competitor teased us today with program details. As expected, Redbox Instant will stream video from a number of distributors to a variety of mobile and television devices —  including smartphones, tablets, connected Blu-ray players, and Google TV. The all-you-can-eat movie-centric service will run $8 a month, as Netflix and Hulu do. Interesting, they will also offer à la carte rentals and purchases… presumably of the more compelling, new release content. Given their DNA, it’s no surprise their secret weapon is bundled disc rentals via those conveniently located Redbox self serve kiosks. Four nightly DVD rentals a month are include at that $8 tier, but an an extra buck elevates you to Blu-ray. Is that enough to wrest customers away from Netflix or encourage first time streaming subscribers? Guess we’ll begin to find out in early 2013.

21 responses to Redbox Instant Sets Rates

  1. “Given their DNA, it’s no surprise their secret weapon is bundled disc rentals via those conveniently located Redbox self serve kiosks. Four nightly DVD rentals a month are include at that $8 tier, but an an extra buck elevates you to Blu-ray.”

    Given their DNA, it’s kinda weird that Netflix doesn’t offer a limited disc rental option with its basic streaming package…

  2. Ha! Yeah, there is that. I’d most likely still be a regular customer if they hadn’t split up the services and effectively doubled prices.

  3. Now that they’re rolling out the streaming service, if Redbox were Netflix:

    – They’d hide all their kiosks where customers couldn’t find them.

    – They’d make customers who could find their kiosks go through 10 minutes of keypressing past offers for their streaming service before they could get a disc.

    – They’d rename their kiosks “Kwighstir Rouge”.

  4. +1 for Chucky.

    Kwighstir Rouge. Love it!

  5. Netflix does have a 2 disc a month plan for $4.99. But it is separate from streaming. And at $4.99 for only two discs, it is expensive. I remember when they changed their plans. I was very happy at the time since my bill went down 6.5% for the BD/streaming plan I had. While people were complaining about a rise in prices, I was happy with my 6.5% reduction.
    Although I’m not on that plan any more that had the 6.5% decrease.

    I am hoping I can get in on the Redbox Instant trial. I got an email from them this week, but I’m guessing everyone got those emails from Redbox instant

  6. Any hints yet if there will be a Roku client for the new Redbox streaming service?

  7. All things being equal…

    I wouldn’t value the current rentals since I already have Apple TVs and thus a way to get those probably at similar prices. Probably.

    I WOULD value the ability to get disks at Redbox for free each month, vs. not getting them. And with the price increases and such I’ve no love left for Netflix really. Reed Hastings seems a bit of a nut job.

    Seems unlikely the libraries will be identical of course. Certainly once we hit February I’m going to want Netflix access so I can see the House of Cards. Once that hits I’ll be committed to Netflix for a bit.

  8. Link, it wasn’t mentioned in the press release but it seems like a good candidate.

    Glenn, things like House of Cards and Arrested Development are interesting. I’ll subscribe to Netflix for a month, watch them all at once, then cancel. Will that be worth 8 bucks to them? I suppose it’s 8 dollars they wouldn’t otherwise have, but hm.

  9. Pondering what the odds this makes it to the Apple TV.

    Hoping that all Samsung Smart TVs/Blu-Rays get this – not just 2012 models!

    Gotta figure that while Redbox may get a few gotchas in the streaming library – Netflix will still probably have the better one.

  10. After Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon streaming, and Crackle, and the Redbox kiosks, this is sort of a big yawn.

  11. Gregg, I’d say slim to none until/unless Apple opens a full fledged app store.

    George, yeah a ton of options. It’s the things like Netflix’s original series or the bundled Redbox discs. For me, I get a lot of the same television, back catalog, or more obscure stuff free via Amazon Prime so I haven’t been motivated to rejoin Netflix lately. But I do rent the occasional Apple or Amazon VOD title. Not sure I need a relationship with another company to do the same.

  12. George, Agreed regarding the number of existing video streaming services. To your list I would add HBO Go. Between my big four (HBO Go, Hulu, Vudu and Amazon) – Crackle is pretty pathetic IMO – I have more than enough TV/movie options. Unless Redbox brings something entirely new, or lower pricing, hard to get too excited.

  13. “After Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon streaming, and Crackle, and the Redbox kiosks, this is sort of a big yawn.”

    1) It’s redbox instant™ by veriZon. That means when you stream a movie, it’s delivered over the last mile by fibre optic cable, even if your wireline provider runs coax. Verizon has an army of mobile workers with portable ONT’s that they’ll set up outside your home as soon as you order a movie.

    2) That’s only seven options. We need to let a hundred streaming services bloom, all with mostly the same pricing and catalog. There’s room for Heinz streaming with its 57 varieties of genres, Hallmark streaming when you care enough to watch the very best, Dos Equis streaming with its most interesting movies in the world, Burger King streaming which lets you have movies your way, VISA steaming since it’s everywhere you want to be, Richard Stallman streaming cuz GNU’s not UNIX. There’s plenty of room for new entrants to the market.

  14. It’s redbox instant™ by veriZon. That means when you stream a movie, it’s delivered over the last mile by fibre optic cable, even if your wireline provider runs coax.

    So is it limited to Verizon customers only? I didn’t think so. Therefore, for the first time, I can say, Chucky be wrong. My Internet provider runs copper, as in DSL.

    We need to let a hundred streaming services bloom. I agree, but every time that we get one added more, with significant overlap, it is becoming less and less interesting.

    What I really want to see is an independent app that knows which services that I’ve subscribed to and will unify my browsing, ratings, and suggestions all into one interface.

  15. @jcm wrote: Crackle is pretty pathetic .

    Yes, but we did just introduce my 10- and 11-year old kids to Archie Bunker on Crackle. After years of teaching the kids about racism, sexist behaviors, and mean people, they got to see it up front with All in the Family.

  16. “My Internet provider runs copper, as in DSL.”

    Doesn’t matter if you’ve got coax, twinned pair copper, or even satellite.

    When you click on a redbox instant™ by veriZon title to stream, Verizon’s army of mobile workers with portable ONT’s will instantly zoom in by helicopter to set up outside your home and deliver that digital goodness via fibre for the last mile.

  17. On the surface, it’s a great business model. Whether they’ll pull it off is another story.

    Combining access to a large back catalog that can be watched on an all-you-can-eat/I-don’t-even-realize-I’m-paying-for-this basis is great and what Netflix has needed is to add recent releases for an additional fee, to pull in all those people who only want to watch recent releases.

    The great unknowns here are (1) UX – how easy will the system be to navigate. (Some of you may not agree, but the mass of consumers find Netflix UI outstanding) and (2) How their back catalog stacks up against Netflix.

    Do any of you know if they are integrating FIOS own VOD library into the new offering?

  18. What’s the threshold for success and what’s the time frame needed to achieve it?

    Haven’t heard of them integrating their VOD library, but I’m sure they’re leveraging those existing relationships as part of their content strategy.

  19. FYI The Redbox Instant beta is now underway and folks who registered will start receiving invites today. First month is free, at least initially as they ramp up. I downloaded the iPhone app, but can’t actually do anything with it yet…

  20. “I downloaded the iPhone app, but can’t actually do anything with it yet…”

    Within hours, a veriZon guy with a mobile ONT will start following you around 24/7 based on the geolocation of your iPhone, just waiting to hook up fibre to your iPhone every time you start to stream a title…

    (I don’t know if this whole joke is even remotely funny to anyone but me, however I still think it’s enough that I should win that free year of FiOS service for it. Beats out the riding crop, IMHO.)

  21. I was excited for the beta despite all the reviews that were not so pleasing. Once downloading and getting into it I was not so pleased. Of the choices you have, they are the same choices that are on Netflix. When it comes to new movies the option is to rent digitally but pay 4.99. Why do that when I can run to a Kiosk, with out a membership, and rent it for 1.29. With that option I will stick to Vudu which digital rental is 3.99. If the option is to watch digitally why should that not include my 4 free movie credits???? Not seeing where this will overtake any of the current streaming options. Verizon says that it will not reach its full potential until 2014 but why not now. I will finish my beta just to see how it works out but at this point I don’t see paying 8 dollars a month to be a member and still be charged to watch over priced movies on their service.
    Also the navigation is quirky. They display all movies making it appear as though they are all available to watch digitally. Once you click on it you see the option is to digitally rent/buy, or kiosk reserve. There is no way to show what it already available to “watch now”. Maybe it will get better with a little more play but at this point, not impressed 1%