Redbox, best known for its DVD rental kiosks, is planning to follow Netflix into the streaming business. Redbox is currently testing a new service called Redbox Digital, four months after the company indicated it wanted to put together its own streaming service. A Redbox spokesperson told Variety that the rental company was developing a "transactional digital VOD and EST offering" that it says is designed to complement its existing kiosk business.
Redbox shut down its last streaming service in 2014
A Redbox Digital iPad app recently appeared on the App Store, appearing to allow trial users to sign in to stream from Redbox's digital catalog, as well as downloading titles directly. Variety says that Redbox is looking to bring its new service to Roku devices, and notes that the app also features a "Cast" button, indicating that users will be able to watch streamed movies and TV shows via Chromecast and similar devices.
This is the second time Redbox has tried to create its own streaming service. The company's first attempt, called Redbox Instant, launched in partnership with Verizon in 2013, but was shut down 18 months later after struggling to pull in subscribers. Redbox Instant offered on-demand movies and TV, and also gave its subscribers vouchers so they could rent physical copies from the company's DVD kiosks. Redbox Digital looks set to change that model, offering digital rentals of movies and shows for fixed prices, rather than copying Netflix's subscription-based approach.