Redbox is trying a digital version of its service through an iPad app that was released with a low profile because it is only available to trial participants.
Variety reports that a company spokesperson said via email that the company is testing a potential new transactional digital VOD and EST offering with a reduced group of customers. He added that the streaming model had been designed to complement Redbox core kiosk rental business. The trials are meant to assess the participants opinions to make evaluations and determined any future decisions regarding the Redbox Digital service.
The iPad app was launch in the Apple Store last month, according to AppleInsider, and the official terms of service were updated. Now, the terms shown in Redbox website include an entire section that explains the streaming service conditions which mention territorial and other restrictions for digital devices.
But contrary to the general belief, this is not the first time Redbox tries to go to the internet. Unfortunately, that first attempt in 2013 was not successful. Redbox decided to go digital with a subscription service with Verizon in early 2013, but it was canceled 18 months later due to weak demand. Netflix beat IRedbox Instant in the subscription arena.
A source familiar with the company’s plan stated that this time, Redbox is not using subscriptions and design Redbox Digital as an online service to rent or purchase individual titles.
After seeing Redbox Digital on the Appstore, many customers expressed their discontent on the reviews, but only because they do not have access to it. Screenshots of the app suggest that the Redbox streaming version will allow users to browse the online catalog and watch titles as well as download them to the device.
The project has not been officially announced, and its cost is a mystery, but Variety compares the prices of similar services like iTunes, Vudu and Google Play and estimates that the service on demand will be more expensive than the physical disks which cost $1.5. iTunes, Vudu and Google prices are between $5 and $6.
— Redbox (@redbox) July 25, 2016
The alleged high prices could be because Redbox Digital will have a larger catalog than kiosks, which hold a few hundred titles. Another thing to consider is that Redbox depends on its deal with a movie studio, and the agreements may cause that some titles would only be available on physical disks.
The first time this digital version of Redbox was announce was through Variety in April, and according to its website, there is a Cast button displayed that suggest that the service will work with the popular Chromecast streaming adapter and other Cast-compatible devices.