The DVD rental service Redbox has already helped put Blockbuster on deathwatch notice, and now the company has its sights on the Netflix-dominated segment of the home entertainment market. Though a concrete plan is not worked out, Redbox is looking to the web and figuring out the best online distribution model with which to compete with Netflix and others. According to a report from Bloomberg, it's not even definite the company will make the digital leap, though they would be stupid not to.

So now all we can do is wonder what strategy they'll choose. Would the online Redbox entail mail-delivery discs? Just streaming titles? Either way, this would be a way to open their exposure beyond physical kiosks in supermarkets and on sidewalks while also expanding the amount and selection of movies they offer at one time (so the kids can have the option to see Free Willy whenever, for example) The only ways they can really compete with a popular service like Netflix is to carry as many if not more titles -- some of which can come through further exclusive deals with studios -- and set up a subscription-based plan that's cheaper.
Redbox is at least a fast-growing brand thanks to its low price and convenience. And that's how it would continue its strength in the rental market. I have a feeling that Netflix's plans are as cheap as can be. I'm constantly amazed at how many movies I can see in a month for less than ten bucks thanks to their combination disc and streaming plan. There's a potential threat to Netflix's prices, too, thanks to a recent postage increase proposal, which the company supports.

Frankly, I can't imagine the red box company pulling me away from the red envelope company, as much as I like, for my line of work, the accessibility of as many titles as possible -- I occasionally rent from iTunes and Amazon VOD, for instance, but I don't imagine I'd ever subscribe to more than one service. So perhaps Redbox should go with both a subscription service and the option of one-time streaming rentals, too.

What would you like to see in a Redbox online rental service?
categories Features, Cinematical