DVD rental kiosk company Redbox reportedly has a streaming service in the works called Redbox Digital.
The initiative would serve as a successor to Redbox’s first foray into digital streaming in 2013 alongside Verizon in a joint venture called Redbox Instant that was subsequently shuttered 18 months later. Variety, which was first to report news of the second service, says that a beta test for Redbox Digital may be available “soon”.
Leaked screenshots from the service seem to indicate that while Redbox Instant employed a subscription model for bundled content à la Netflix, Redbox Digital will function more along the lines of the iTunes store — offering movies and TV shows for rental and purchase. (Similarly, movie ticket vendor Fandango announced last week that it would launch its own on-demand streaming service, FandangoNOW).
“We regularly conduct tests of potential new offerings, that may or may not be brought to market, as part of our ongoing commitment to provide additional value,” Redbox told Variety in a statement.
The digital service would be woven into Redbox’s existing website and app, and also into its ‘Play Pass’ loyalty program, which allows users to rack up points through purchases and put them toward free rentals. A standard quality film rental on Redbox Digital might be priced at $2.99, according to leaked screenshots uncovered by Variety, while a high-quality rental costs $14.99. Right now, Redbox charges $1.50 per day for physical DVD rentals.
The rumored streaming service comes at a difficult time for Redbox. Parent company Outerwall reported that Redbox had revenues of $407 million last quarter, down from $491 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, reflecting a 24% decline in movie rentals.