Redbox Officially Wading Back Into Streaming Service With Tests Of “Redbox Digital”

Second times the charm? That appears to be the mantra for Redbox. Two years after it officially declared Redbox Instant dead, the DVD rental business is getting back into the streaming service arena by testing a previously rumored new version of the product. 

The company recently began testing the revamped streaming service, dubbed Redox Digital, with a select group of current users, Variety reports.

“We are testing a potential new transactional digital VOD [Video On Demand] and EST [Electronic Sell-Through] offering, designed to complement our core kiosk rental business,” a company spokesperson tells Variety. “As we test and learn from our customers, we will make evaluations that determine any future course of action.”

In preparing for the new streaming service tests, Redbox published an iPad app and updated its terms of service on its website with a section dedicated to the streaming service.

The app download page describes Redbox Digital as a place where users can “rent or own the newest movies to watch at home or on the go.” For now, a pricing structure for the service has not been revealed.

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While non-test members can not download the Redbox Digital app, screenshots on the app page show a browsing feature for digital titles and the ability to download them to the device.

 

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Variety notes that the teaser also contains a “Cast” button, suggesting that the service will likely be compatible with Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter and other Cast-compatible devices.

Variety first reported in March that Redbox was likely working on a new streaming device.

According to sources, the service — dubbed Redbox Digital — will allow customers to rent movies or TV show episodes for streaming or purchase.

That means, unlike the late Redbox Instant service, Digital would be a competitor for services like iTunes, Vudu, or Google Play, rather than Netflix, which Variety previously suggested could make the service succeed where it’s predecessor failed.

Redbox Instant debuted in early 2013 as a partnership between the company and Verizon. The service planned to compete with Netflix while offering one thing that Netflix couldn’t: bonus instant DVD rentals from Redbox’s in-person kiosks.

The service was marred with issues early on, as it became a popular avenue for credit card thieves to test whether or not their ill-gotten card numbers were genuine.

Redbox Instant responded by first preventing current users from changing their payment info, then by cutting off new signups. The service never opened up to new subscriptions and closed in October 2014, just months before its second birthday.

Redbox Testing New Streaming Service (EXCLUSIVE) [Variety]