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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. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ben [visitor]

    At the beginning of this article, I thought, “What a GREAT idea!” One of the main reasons I don’t subscribe to Netflix is that I figure to get my money’s worth out of a $15/mo subscription, I’ll need to rent 10-15 movies per month. I like movies…but not that much.

    But then…the end of the article explains how Redbox plans to implement this, and, well…

    It’s a GREAT April Fools joke, if you as me!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Tracy [visitor]

      Netflix offers a $8.99 Unlimited Subscription. This gives you 1 DVD at a time per month and Unlimited Moive Streaming. it is true that netflix still needs to over more current movies in the Streaming department but there are a lot of titles available. Anyway just want to point out that it wasn’t as expensive as you stated.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        adam [visitor]

        that’s still 9 bucks you can’t have back. Redbox makes it affordable and not as wasteful…. after losing my job and pinching pennies like Dave Ramsey suggests, it’s still nice to have a redbox on every corner and rent several movies at the library whenever I want. I used to be with netflix and I’ll never go back. People swear by it, but it’s just because of habit.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      sdvee [visitor]

      It’s an April fool frm April, who is foolish if she thinks I would stand at a kiosk there for the length of a movie when I am trying to return a movie by 9:00pm.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Sam [visitor]

      I cannot believe Redbox is spending money and marketing time on something stupid like this. I thought Redbox was smarter. Come on now who in their right mind will watch a movie at a grocery store outside, with no chairs, with many distractions, cars going by, people talking, etc, there will be mayor audio problems. A movie is suppose to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, movie theatre, or maybe even a car but not on a 20″ screen outside a grocery or pharmacy with no chairs.

      ATTN REDBOX, SAVE YOUR MONEY, I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU TESTED THIS OUT WITH GREAT RESULTS BUT I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOSE CUSTOMERS, PEOPLE WILL NOT WANT TO WAIT OR KEEP DRIVING TO ANOTHER REDBOX JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING A MOVIE ON A KIOSK, WHAT IF THIS PROGRAM DOES KICK OFF AND EVERYONE BEGINS TO WATCH A MOVIE ON EVERY KIOSK IN THE AREA, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH YOUR SALES WILL GO DOWN BECAUSE OF THE KIOSK BEING TIED UP!?!?

      • Member [Join Now]
        tracyhide

        O.M.G.
        You fell for this?
        I believed it until paragraph 6. That’s where it’s obviously an April Fool’s Joke…
        Still wouldn’t be against streaming $1 new release movies (to my computer, of course :o)

    • Member [Join Now]
      prezcat [prezcat]

      And I thought I wouldn’t get punk’d today. You had me for a minute. Thanks for the April Fool’s.

  2. Member [Join Now]
    kristener

    This sounds like an absolutely terrible idea. I sure do hope that it is an April Fool’s joke. Like I am really going to want to wait 2 hours to return or rent a movie while some other person is watching a movie on the kiosk. Also, I do not know if it is the same everywhere, but the screens are so small. Dumb, dumb, dumb!!!

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    TomG [visitor]

    I had suggested this a few weeks ago and thought it would be a great idea. But to watch the movie from the kiosk??? I think they missed the mark. The last thing I want to do is pull up a chair and sit at the Redbox kiosk in my grocery store with 15+ lanes checking people out and have them peer over my shoulder.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    GullyB [visitor]

    Dude… Awesome. Flat out awesome. How many times have you been at the store with your wife and you’d much rather be sitting and watching a show? Let her shop and do it! Or, say the kids are just too much of a pain at the grocery store, asking for everything they see. Just park ’em at the kiosk, pay a buck and go on your merry way. Many of my kiosks have a 27″ or 32″ LCD on top of the box too. That might make for a good cheap party at the Walgreens with some friends. Can’t beat the price and, they’ve got the movie snacks right there. I for one am stoked!

    • Administrator
      Michael [administrator]

      I agree. For the kids, just think how much better (and longer) it is than one of those lame rides where you sit on the unicorn and it moves up and down for a minute.

      I wonder if they will consider streaming live sports events, like boxing? That would be great, too.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      GullyB [visitor]

      Totally! The side business opportunities for them are excellent as well. I can think of a couple: Add an extra buck for a comfy fold up camping chair to use (new kiosk equipment will be needed to dispense). And Add a buck to the rental for a privacy hood, like old timey photographers used for the more racy flicks that you wouldn’t want a youngster to walk by and see.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    David [visitor]

    LOL.. U almost got me with this April fools joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jefe [visitor]

    Party on Wayne! Let the ladies shop like they should be anyways and the fellas watch some flicks..Sweetness in action.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Brian [visitor]

    Damn, I was thinking “what a great idea” up to the part where they said it would be on the kiosk, then I realized what the deal was. Lame, but good April fools jokes guys… made my morning

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    just moi [visitor]

    Good one!!! I’ll remember to bring my umbrella in case it rains. ;)

    And the wait might be a bit longer around here… we’ve had to wait behind people who had not a single clue (and probably wouldn’t know how to buy one!)

    Even their kids couldn’t get them to do it right. And we all know if you can’t figure out an electronic device or a computer program you find the member of the family that is in middle school because they CAN do it.)

    We left because of one family was really having problems just going from one screen to another, and there was another person waiting behind them. We went across the street to Walmart and used the RedBox there (just returning) and saw the family was still there when we drove by the other RedBox on the way home.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    cj [visitor]

    lol, had me goin for a bit. ALthough I like my netflix at $5 I can download all I want I thought for the occasional new release, wow, great deal…but then HAHA on me. standing at the kiosk with my gloves on…If I want to see a movie outside I’ll go to the local drive-in.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dean Hansen [visitor]

    Maybe add another option to open a chute and drop some popcorn out for you too. If it isn’t raining, you could turn your umbrella upside down and totally fill it up! Talk about value! ;)

  11. Member [Join Now]
    Jean [caneuser]

    That sounded great for a few minutes until I caught on. Good Joke.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    RSR [visitor]

    The *first* thing I asked *April*

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      SS [visitor]

      enough said! lol .. i picked up on “April” but not “first” .. very slick writing on their part.. thanks for the post.. that’s genius, lol..

  13. Member [Join Now]
    jkirk

    Heheh…you had me going right up until the “streaming to the kiosk” part. I even let the rep’s name “April” get by me…. but it was totally unbelievable once you got to the Kiosk streaming part…. heh…good one!

    -Jim

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    dianna [visitor]

    ha! you had me for a couple of paragraphs.

    now i’m going to go put an old arm chair on the bed of my pickup, so i can just back right up to the outdoor kiosk at mcdonald’s and order up that new james bond movie.

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    elmerohueso [visitor]

    Lame an unconvincing joke.

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    Leo [visitor]

    Great joke. I especially like the netflix embedded advertisement. Hilarious.

  17. Member [Join Now]
    51501-7611

    Bad idea. Shopping malls, Mcdonalds,Walmarts,etc arent going to want a huge group of people standing in the way blocking foot traffic.Not to mention the erratic weather nowadays. I for one do not feel like freezing or sweating to death while watching a movie. With the crime thats going on today you could actually put yourself in harms way.You might actually get lucky to be able to rent a movie but returning it will probably be a whole different story.RedBox is cutting thier own throats unless they come up with a better plan for streaming movies.The problem is Redbox doesn’t want to put up the capital or take the time to put together a long term plan. RedBox just thinks it will just re -hash thier existing chain of kiosks and that everybody will be fine with it. Unless they come up with set top boxes they will lose my business. I have a Netflix account anyway & just use Redbox as a supplement.

  18. Member [Join Now]
    knightswifee

    From the beginning I thought it would be a great service as well.. than I kept reading. “But to watch the movie from the kiosk???” We only have one Red Box in our Town at Walmart. We already have enough long lines and why would anyone want to just prop up a chair and watch it on the screen of the kiosk? That’s just stupid.

    I’m sticking with Netflix.

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    Amber [visitor]

    I think the watching a movie at the kiosk is a bad idea. What if someone is watching a movie at 8:45 and you need to return a movie before 9:00 so you don’t get charged a dollar!? We only have 2 Redboxes in our town…I really hope they think hard about that one!

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Pilar @ ScoringDeals [visitor]

    You got me!! I couldn’t believe they didn’t care their customer waiting for hours! And I thought it was THE WORST idea! Yep, at some point I was picturing myself watching a movie and standing in front of a kiosk for 1.5 hours (without a line)! Then I figured it was your April’s Fool joke!! LOL!

    Happy April’s Fool Day!

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    kris [visitor]

    Best online April Fool’s I’ve read today. Good job guys!

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    cusesoftie [visitor]

    That was a great joke!!! I can’t believe I read that all to the very end…

  23. Member [Join Now]
    genevieve68

    Ok – that was really hilarious!!! :) Happy AFD!! hehehe…

  24. Visitor [Join Now]
    ashton [visitor]

    I cant believe people can fall for this suggestion, do u really think such a insane idea can come out of Netflix or redbox?

    Wake Up its FOOL’s day , stop thinking

  25. Member [Join Now]
    hound56

    I, for one, will not stand at a kiosk and watch a movie. The one Redbox that’s outside in my location faces West and in the afternoon (until the sun sets) you can’t even see the screen!(which is why I only go there in the morning or at night). I hope this is an April’s Fool joke because it’s a ridiculous idea.

  26. Member [Join Now]
    sighclist

    This had best be an April Fool joke! I would quit using RedBox altogether! What a ridiculous and unmanageable idea! I would not watch in the middle of a store and would NEVER wait in such a line or go running to other boxes. If your goal is to go out of business, then you should follow through on this idea.

  27. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dee [visitor]

    This was a good one; Thanks for the April 1 Joke! I clicked on Michael’s “Last Idea” for last year and it was funny too. It’s nice to see a company have a sense of humor! Thanks!

  28. Visitor [Join Now]
    jill [visitor]

    Are you crazy, or do you think people are crazy? Maybe you should not try to compete with netflicks in that way. Why not join them with a cheaper price. I garantee you will be flooded with customers. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel, just try to improve it.

  29. Member [Join Now]
    moviecrazy

    Come on people, this is OBVIOUSLY an April Fool’s joke!!! How could anyone take this seriously, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Visitor [Join Now]
    chriscraft124 [visitor]

    This is much better than the “gun in the box” joke from last year. Though that was rather amusing. I ran into a couple who were maintaining one of the redboxes last year shortly after last year’s April Fool’s joke and asked them where the gun was… They looked at me like I was crazy, until I explained about the joke. Then they thought it was rather amusing.

  31. Visitor [Join Now]
    Screenwriter [visitor]

    April Fools… good one. I have to say I thought it was a great idea… until I read you’d watch it at the kiosk… then I became horrified because we already have such long lines and most people (in So CA) seem to ENJOY taking longer than necessary. But when I read about the gloves, I knew, a joke, THANK GOD! However to later be able to stream a movie right from your computer while you’re away on business, how wonderful that would be. I don’t use NetFlix because we were long time customers and were “throttled”… the lawsuit only helped the lawyers and previous customers were only given 1 month free service, no thanks.

  32. Visitor [Join Now]
    UBM [visitor]

    I actually got more laughs at reading the posts of the people who
    TOOK THIS SERIOUSLY!!!!!
    duh! wake up, it’s April Fool’s…are you so short sighted in your own little world
    that you forgot what today is?

    I feel sorry if so…what does that say about the human race
    (or Americans) if they can’t even remember to laugh once in awhile?

    thanks for the Joke, and tell “April” thanks as well. lol!

  33. Member [Join Now]
    margaret webb [margaret-webb]

    I would like to see a Prepaid Red box credit card out so I can reserve on line as my hubby doesn’t want for me to use our credit card on lind but can see the problem with the sequirty issue of one having a movie out maybe there could be a hold on the value of the movie or movies until you bring them back.???Peggy

  34. Member [Join Now]
    kflawrence

    Should I get in line now? You had me in the beginning. (well, I thought it was kinda outlandish) but I fell for it until I read the other comments…..Well Done !!!

  35. Visitor [Join Now]
    EAP [visitor]

    Having movies streaming from the kiosk is a really bad idea. I mean really, who would want to stand in front of the kiosk for two house to watch a movie, much less the others who are ticked at you for hogging the machine. What would be a better idea is if Redbox steamed their movies online. That way everyone can watch at their own convience. Plus not all kiosks have the same movies so with being able to watch online you have all of the movies to choose from.

  36. Member [Join Now]
    Joan Zaiz [joan-zaiz]

    I thought “who would be dumb enough to stand in front of a kiosk and watch
    a movie standing up”. It wouldn’t be me. Good April fools day joke.

  37. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sam [visitor]

    I cannot believe Redbox is spending money and marketing time on something stupid like this. I thought Redbox was smarter. Come on now who in their right mind will watch a movie at a grocery store outside, with no chairs, with many distractions, cars going by, people talking, etc, there will be mayor audio problems. A movie is suppose to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, movie theatre, or maybe even a car but not on a 20? screen outside a grocery or pharmacy with no chairs.

    ATTN REDBOX, SAVE YOUR MONEY, I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU TESTED THIS OUT WITH GREAT RESULTS BUT I GUARANTEE YOU WILL LOSE CUSTOMERS, PEOPLE WILL NOT WANT TO WAIT OR KEEP DRIVING TO ANOTHER REDBOX JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE WATCHING A MOVIE ON A KIOSK, WHAT IF THIS PROGRAM DOES KICK OFF AND EVERYONE BEGINS TO WATCH A MOVIE ON EVERY KIOSK IN THE AREA, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH YOUR SALES WILL GO DOWN BECAUSE OF THE KIOSK BEING TIED UP!?!?

  38. Member [Join Now]
    comanche

    I didn’t catch on until I read it a 2nd time. I was suspect of the name April though.

  39. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rebecca Ferguson [visitor]

    I’m hoping this is just an April fool’s joke, because I think it’s a stupid idea. I personally do not know anyone who’s going to stand for an hour or two in front of a kiosk watching a video! And No, people aren’t going to wait for you to finish your video to return theirs, especially if that’s all they came to do! The next nearest one to us is like 20 mi away. If someone was watching a video, and i had to return mine, i’d be pretty pissed if i had to take my six month old on a 20 mile drive just to return a video!

  40. Member [Join Now]
    tenle

    you must be kidding, April Fool