Redbox Instant Video Streaming Service Shutting Down Tomorrow
Over-the-top (OTT) video streaming is taking off in the U.S. and around the world, but unless the company doing that streaming is named Netflix the results can be a little dicey. Outerwall Inc (which owns Redbox) and Verizon Communications announced they would close down the Redbox Instant service at the end of the day tomorrow. The two companies ran the service jointly.
Redbox has been successful with its DVD rental kiosks, so Verizon joined to launch a related video-on-demand service in 2013 that included both transactional and subscription components, as well as credits for kiosk rentals.
Subscribers will soon get a note letting them know the service is closing down. On October 10, they'll get another note with refund information.
A message on the Redbox Instant site explains that subscribers have until tomorrow to use their Redbox kiosk credits.
While Verizon didn't succeed with this streaming venture, it should be back with a bigger offering soon. Earlier this year, Verizon acquired assets to the the online television service Intel was working on. Just last week Verizon secured streaming access to Viacom properties, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and VH1. In its announcement, Verizon said the deal gives it the ability "to launch innovative new TV packages."
The market for SVOD services is contracting, but the market for online-only alternatives to expensive pay TV subscriptions is wide open.
A report on Variety says that Redbox is preparing a video-on-demand storefront, which will tie in with the company's existing loyalty program.
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With a combination of subscription pricing and VOD rentals and sales, Redbox could give Netflix a strong challenge.