We all know that 2011 was a pretty rough year for Netflix thanks to the whole Qwikster fiasco, but they are now in the process of bouncing back with the help of a new foray into original programming (House of Cards is currently their most viewed show). However, there are still plenty of competitors out there vying for the streaming market including Hulu+, Amazon Prime, and now Redbox. For a few years, Redbox was the main competition to Netflix’s DVD-by-mail program, but as the market shifted more towards the Watch Instantly feature, Redbox was left in the dust. Now this month Redbox is playing catch-up by launching their own Redbox Instant streaming option with the Xbox 360 as their exclusive gaming console launch partner. But are they already too late to the game?
Back in December, Redbox announced their intention to enter the streaming market with Redbox Instant and quietly rolled out a beta launch in January. Then last week, Microsoft’s Major Nelson confirmed that the beta would come to game consoles with an app available on the Xbox 360. The monthly subscriptions that they will be offering include $6/month for streaming alone, $8/month for streaming plus four DVDs from a Redbox kiosk, or $9/month for streaming plus four Blu-rays from a kiosk.
It’s interesting that they are trying to undercut Netflix’s $8/month streaming package, but of course, the real question is whether or not they can offer anything close to the same selection as Netflix. Early reports suggest that they are facing an uphill battle there, which is to be expected. Unfortunately for them, most Redbox users are only interested in the latest mainstream releases and that’s exactly the kind of stuff they won’t find on Redbox Instant. Will you give Redbox Instant a shot? Do you think any other streaming services can truly compete with Netflix right now?