Posted Tue Apr 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM PDT by Mike Attebery
Kiosk rentals struck a blow to Blockbuster, but it looks like RedBox may be making a move towards Netflix.
Netflix has a history of making pseudo announcements through surveys. The PS3, Wii, and now iPhone streaming services all hit just after surveys were sent out. Now RedBox, it seems, is doing the same thing, but that’s not the only cue they’ve taken from Netflix.
The survey that went out to RedBox customers asked them to rate their interest in a streaming service that would cut the Netflix rate in half. At $3.95 a month, said the survey, customers would have access to unlimited streaming as well as four free kiosk rentals. Since a rental is usually a dollar anyway, that equates to free streaming for anyone who rents four movies or more a month.
$3.95 is a nice low monthly fee, but that immediately raises questions of availability and compatibility. Part of the reason Netflix is so great is that you can use it on a huge range of devices. It’s also constantly being upgraded, with HD streaming coming to PC and 5.1 sound coming to all devices by the end of the year.
If the RedBox service could offer a similar selection of films with an HD stream and the ability to stream from a Blu-ray player, it could be a huge threat to Netflix. If not, don’t expect to hear too much more about it.
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