Redbox, the DVD rental kiosk company, says it’s preparing to challenge Netflix in the streaming video arena. Redbox subscribers will pay a single monthly fee to get access to movies, both as streaming video and on DVDs through kiosks.
Netflix took the early lead in the online streaming business and now has more than 20 million subscribers who get DVDs by mail and movies and TV shows via streaming Internet video.
The development of the service by Redbox has taken longer than expected because it has involved negotiations with several potential go-to-market partners, according to Coinstar CEO Paul Davis. Coinstar currently owns Redbox. “We’re very confident that the brand can extend into [Internet streaming] given our position,” Davis said at the analyst event.
Amazon.com also offers movies and TV shows but charges a per-show price, although there are reports that Amazon will soon off streaming video through a partnership with a so-far undisclosed company, possibly even Redbox itself.
According to CEO Davis, consumers are steadily shifting away from pay-per-view videos in favor of subscription plans, just as they previously began shifting away from DVDs when Internet streaming became reliable and inexpensive. The release of the new Redbox program is to be determined at this time.