Redbox Instant Overview.
Redbox Instant is a streaming video service, operated by Verizon and Redbox that was supposed to make competition to Netflix by providing more than 8,000 videos and CD rentals for its users.
The service was launched in 2012; however it became available for the U.S. customers only in March, 2013. The company offered the unlimited streaming videos supported by many platforms and devices on monthly paid basis, but unfortunately it got shut down already on October 7, 2014, with the Redbox explaining the reasons of this as “it’s not as successful as we hoped it would be.”
More Details on Redbox Instant.
The newly registered users were offered a 30-days free trial to make their decision whether to proceed with the service or not. The paid plans included a few options, as follows:
- The $8 monthly plan providing access to unlimited library of thousand items of video content of the website. This option also encompassed the DVD rentals on a monthly basis in more than 400,000 kiosks across the country with the ability to redeem four one-night DVD rental credits. Furthermore the customers could enjoy Blue ray content by paying additional $1 per month. In the case if users run out of their 4 credits before the month ends, they were charged usual kiosk rates. It’s important to note that the video content contained in the online library mostly included older videos that weren’t newly aired at that point.
- The new videos and other exclusive or premium video content could be ordered directly from the website by the Redbox Instant members with the prices starting from $4,99 for standard quality videos and $5,99 for the HD quality.
- Those who weren’t interested in DVD rentals could pay $6 per month and get the unlimited access to the website’s library of videos.
- The plan providing ability to purchase movies from the service. The pricing in this case depended directly on the quality of the videos. The standard quality content cost from $12 up to $16 per item, and $15 -$20 for the HD quality content accordingly.
The service didn’t have any contract obligations to users, the membership was organized on monthly basis, and people were able to cancel it any time they wanted by notifying the customer service.
Those users of the website interested only in purchasing or renting the viodeo content didn’t have to become Redbox Instant members, which was simplifying the ordering process. However, in order to enjoy any streaming content, one had to register as Redbox Instant member anyhow.
One of the flaws the service had was that not every movie or video was available for streaming. Some of them had to be ordered and redeemed in kiosks, which was not always convenient for users.
As mentioned previously, Redbox Instant was thought to make great competition to Netflix, however the service couldn’t rival with its maximum resolution quality of only 720p. in comparison to Netflix’s HD format of 1080p.
At the other hand the service was compatible with many devices supporting both iOS (iPhones, iPads, Mac PCs, etc) and Android platforms (any smartphones or tablets based on Android, Sumsung Smart TVs, Blue-ray players, game console Xbox 360, Google TVs, Roku TVs, and LG TVs).
The Bottom Line: Why Didn’t the Service Last Long?
Redbox Instant presented to its customers a range of good options to use the service. First of all it didn’t require any contracts and provided 1 month of a free trial with ability to sign out any moment. Secondly, it allowed people watch the videos on mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and many other portable devices, which enabled users to enjoy their favorite movies on the go.
Another good thing concerns the pricing policy of the website. For the money same with that of the alternative services, such as Hulu or Netflix, The Redbox Instant also provided the option of DVD rental credits of 4 items per month. Besides, the users, who weren’t interested in rentals from kiosks, could use the service a bit cheaper with a monthly cost of $6 instead of standard $8-plan.
Unfortunately, however, there were also some drawbacks in the website that lessened its popularity, and eventually caused the offer’s shutdown.
The maximum resolution of the videos with 720p. trailed the alternative service of Netflix with its 1080p. One more thing the Redbox Instant was falling back from its competitors is the narrower categories of the available content. For instance, unlike Hulu or Netflixit, the Redbox Instant offered only Movies and Documentary videos. At this point it’s important to note that its streaming video library contained only older videos, moreover the service didn’t give access to Television shows and series episodes at all. The website did offer premium HD/SD content for online streaming; however their price was actually higher than rental of these videos in kiosks. Some of the users also complained the service wasn’t working with the Sony Blue-ray players, and a few other devices. Many people were canceling their membership with the website or chose the alternative video streaming websites. With this said, the service, created to make competition was ironically shutdown because it couldn’t compete with the wider range of options that were offered by its competitors.