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In a surprise move, Redbox has announced that they will start offering a movie streaming service later this month. In keeping with its current pricing structure, the cost to stream a movie will be just $1, and customers will be able to choose from any movie in the Redbox library, including new releases.

Since details were a little sparse on the new service, I decided to contact Redbox and see if they would like to share any more information with us and the Inside Redbox community. I was able to get a hold of April, a New Product Manager at the Redbox corporate office, and she had a few more details for us.

The first thing I asked April was what made Redbox decide to get into the streaming business. She said that they have seen the success Netflix has had with their service, and wanted to provide something similar for their customers. “We figured the $1 price point was working well already, so we decided to stick with that,” she said. “We think it is the best value anywhere, and we know consumers appreciate good value, especially in today’s economic climate.”

I have to agree with her, Netflix has done well with their service, so it only makes sense for Redbox to get into the game. Plus, $1 is a great value, and has already been working well for them. While it is different from the Netflix unlimited service, there are also no monthly fees to deal with, so you only pay for what you watch. A lot like pay-per-view from your cable/satellite service, only cheaper.

Next, I asked her exactly how they were going to make this happen. Netflix has partnered with several set-top box makers, and also streams movies directly from its website. Will Redbox do the same?

“Redbox will leverage the network we already have,” she said. “This way, there will be no need for our customers to buy a set-top box or use unreliable software on the website that doesn’t work for everyone. So, we decided that we will stream movies directly to our more than 13,000 Redbox kiosks already in place.”

I told her that it sounded very interesting, but how exactly would it work?

“It is quite simple really”, April told me. “Right now when a customer visits one of our kiosks and selects a movie, there is an ‘Add to Cart’ button. We will simply add a ‘Watch Now’ button, and after the customer swipes their card, the movie will begin playing immediately.”

But would Redbox customers really like this? What about bad weather? Long lines?

“We think our customers will love this new service,” she said, “and have already tested it out in a few areas with good results. While many of our kiosks are located outdoors, our customers are generally very smart and dress appropriately. A coat and gloves in the winter and a water bottle in the summer is all most will need, and they will likely already have that with them. If not, perhaps the store where their Redbox is located will be able to supply them with what they need, providing an additional revenue stream for our partners.

“As for long lines, that is rarely a problem. Our customers are already used to waiting 10-15 minutes to rent/return a movie, so another hour or so should not be a problem. Plus, they will be able to watch whatever movie the customer is streaming. It’s a lot like going to the drive-in for free, and you can’t beat free. If they really don’t want to wait, they can simply goto another Redbox kiosk, which is probably close by since we have so many of them.”

I asked April a few more questions, and then thanked her for her time. She was very gracious in spending her time with us to explain the new service. It should be deployed by the end of the month at a kiosk near you, so be on the lookout.

I would love to hear from you and what you think about this new service. Will you use it? Is it a terrible idea? Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

[Note: This post was the Inside Redbox prank for April Fool's Day 2009. Hope you enjoyed it!]

79 Responses to “Redbox to Offer Movie Streaming Service, Compete with Netflix”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    ryaneveretthoward

    oh come on, seriously? this was the easiest april fools scam in the book. Sadly, if they did offer the movies through a streaming online service (ala netflix or blockbuster online) they would most likely finally kill off movie rental stores and make their way into a whole new and exciting field. Too bad it was a joke and not a serious idea…

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Gary T [visitor]

    haha, I fell for it until I read that you stream them at the kiosk … I was ready to ditch my netflix and go exclusive with redbox. I hope they look into that as an option … no doubt for a dollar they would probably have problems with sufficient server power they’d be so busy.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Blythdiva [visitor]

    heck no! I would not wait nor watch a movie on the REBOX KIOSK SCREEN. This is a joke, right? If it is at all real.. I will rent from the MOVIECUBE or DVDPLAY KIOSK instead. This is a stupid idea… Stream it to a personal computer makes more sense..

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    The Turnip [visitor]

    I LOVE THIS IDEA! I spend WAY too much time indoors due to watching movies so this sounds like the perfect solution!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Chex [visitor]

    ugh. Wow. That is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. ha very funny.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    DAVE [visitor]

    GET SERIOUS.APRIL FOOLS DAY.ANYONE WHO BELIEVED THIS IS A FOOL.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    DARWIN [visitor]

    THEY SHOULD OFFER THIS SERVICE IN ATM MACHINES AS WELL.
    PEOPLE WOULD LOVE TO WITHDRAW MONEY WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE :)

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    larry [visitor]

    Cannot believe such an obsurd idea. Has to be April fools day

  9. Member [Join Now]
    MARRONINI [marronini]

    Hola como estan.. I love Red box…

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    brandiLynn [visitor]

    This is so great! Sounds like a great way to enjoy the pleasures of the indoors in the Great Outdoors! Like a new-age drive in movie, only at your local McDonald’s or WalMart (and I think Walgreens recently joined in the Redbox craze).

    [Btw, you guys had me sold up until the stream-your-movie-at-the-kiosk bit. Happy April Fools, everyone!]

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    debi [visitor]

    HAHA! oh, that was great! lol

  12. Member [Join Now]
    drowland

    APRIL FOOL’S!!!!!

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    JimS [visitor]

    I totally belived this and was ready to rant and rave in Comments until I read some comments! I would never stand in front of a kiosk and wait for an hour or two to rent / watch a video! What an ass [I am]!

  14. Member [Join Now]
    Rojas2008 [rojas2008]

    This was funny i almost fell for it, becasue the other day i did notice that my
    redbox machine has a set of speakers on the top of the monitor.

    the only problem would be if you get to the machine only to find someone
    else sitting in front of the machine watching a movie, you would have to wait
    for the movie to finnish before you could rent or return a DVD. :-)

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    WulfTheSaxon [visitor]

    I’ve been hoping for a Redbox streaming service ever since Amazon started offering their Video on Demand service at such an exorbitant price ($4 for most movies). Since “Cyber Monday” last year, they’ve occasionally offered select movies for $1 on weekends (although you can pay the $1 and then wait up to a month to watch it), but still…

    Hopefully Redbox reads your post and takes the hint. :)

  16. Member [Join Now]
    elidaddy

    need a code for today but not breakroom

    • Member [Join Now]
      Car [car]

      OK, no problem.

      Go to http://www.redbox.com/Help/Signup.aspx

      Enter your e-mail address.

      They send you BREAKROOM instantly but in a day or two they send you a one time use code. Please don’t post the code, it’s for one rental only, one use, one time, no good after you use it, won’t work for anyone else after you use it, one use, one rental, one free movie.

      I’m just wondering why you asked in the first place. If there was a code EVERYONE could use, don’t you think it would be posted? I mean it’s easy to post here and share and I think most people would be willing to share if it’s a code everyone could use.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    outlaw [visitor]

    lmao i almost bought into this one and was going to tell my hunny about it till i read the comments so i guess the joke is on me this time

  18. Member [Join Now]
    bryansalyer

    dvdonme is a code for everyone!!!!!!!!!! love free movies

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    voodoodu [visitor]

    Sounds like a great idea to me. I’m a pick pocket. Nothing I like better then large distracted crowds.

  20. Member [Join Now]
    ddrrhunt

    You got me…..I was like what!!!!!!!!….lol

  21. Member [Join Now]
    angelaking

    Are the Wednesday codes over?

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    dave [visitor]

    Just happened to read this, didn’t notice it was an april fool’s joke at first, but caught on as soon as ‘April’ said they would stream the movie to the kiosk screen. lol, well done.

    The bit you missed though was a paragraph like this, near the end:
    —–
    I asked how they would deal with copyright restrictions against public performances. April said “Naturally everyone waiting in line or near the kiosk area would have to be blindfolded… we’re in the process of developing a blindfold that can be dispensed in our standard plastic DVD carrier. Store clerks in our host locations will be instructed to call the police if anyone is caught peeking.”

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      Nice addition, Dave. Maybe I should have made it a choose-your-own-ending story and solicited reader responses! :)

      Seriously, though, there was quite a bit more I thought of that I could have written, but I didn’t want to make it too long. It needed to be very unlikely but believable enough to catch some readers in the joke. It worked, as you can see by some of the comments.

      Thanks for your comments.