I signed up for a free trial of the new Redbox service which will cost $8 a month (after the first free month). What does this get you? It gets you 4 DVD credits that you can use to rent movies at their kiosks (so basically $4 worth of DVD movies), and access to their “streaming library of hits.” On the surface, this sounds like a great deal.
I have been saying for a while that someday in the near future DVD’s will no longer be the preferred method of delivery for new movies. I was hoping that Redbox was saying they were going to stream new movies either as part of the $8 a month, or streaming the new releases for $1 or $2 a pop. Nope.
I tried to access the free library, but was not able to find any list of titles that I could watch. When I attempted to access it on my Xbox, I got a menu which showed movies to rent, movies that were included in the “unlimited streaming,” and movies to reserve at the kiosks. The movies to rent cost $5 each.
If I want to watch, say, “Wreck It Ralph” today, here are my choices:
- I can go to a Redbox kiosk and rent it for $1
- I can rent it from Direct TV for $5 on demand.
I thought there would be a third version where I could rent it from Redbox, but it isn’t listed among the movies I can rent instantly. What movies can I rent from Redbox, you ask? I can rent movies that have been out for a while already, such as “The Amazing Spiderman” and “The Lorax.” The Amazing Spiderman has been out so long I could watch it on Starz if I had that service. The Lorax is available for free as part of my Netflix streaming service. So my options for not-so-new releases are this:
- I can pay $8 extra per month to Netflix to have DVD’s sent to my house (about six to eight movies a month)
- I can pay $12 per month for the Starz package and watch the movie there.
- I can rent each movie individually on Redbox for $5 per movie.
Now I’m no math whiz, but it seems to me that Redbox is making a grievous error here. They are charging “new release” prices for the rental of non-new releases.
If the gas station across the street is selling gas for $10 a gallon, and the gas station a couple miles away is selling gas for $3 a gallon, where are you going to fill up? This is what made Redbox a household name: charging $1 for movies that Blockbuster was charging $4 or $5 for.
I am unimpressed so far. There seems to be exponentially more videos on Netflix anyway. I think I will use my 4 DVD credits, and then cancel Redbox. Thumbs down so far.