It’s Friday night. You’ve suffered through another endless-feeling week of work. You turn on your screen of choice, flip past Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Shudder, HBO Now, Sling TV, Playstation Vue, and wonder, “Isn’t there anywhere I can go for streaming content?”
Fear not, person who has never tried a single one of the above services (or read anything about them) and therefore has no idea what they entail, Redbox is here for you. The kiosk rental giant is throwing its vermillion hat into the on-demand ring, with an announcement today that it’s in public beta testing for a VOD and EST (electronic sell-through, a.k.a buying and downloading) service to complement its new-release disc rental business. The new rental and purchase program is now available on the Redbox website, or via the Redbox app for smartphones, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and more.
This is presumably the newest iteration of that weak Redbox Digital project the company was touting a year ago that never seemed to go anywhere or be widely available to people. Along with a larger collection of movies and TV shows than can be found in the limited space possible in the kiosks, the on-demand service will include most of the newer releases not yet shared with subscription streaming services, meaning you can’t find them anywhere else—unless you open iTunes or Amazon, of course. Still, Redbox probably hopes to be the cheaper alternative, a veritable Dollar Store of online entertainment, which is likely not what they’ll choose for the slogan.