updated 12:05 pm EDT, Wed April 7, 2010
Redbox could undercut Netflix
The pioneer of the movie rental kiosk, Redbox, is considering starting a very low cost Internet video streaming service based on the contents of a recent survey. As proposed, it would cost just $4 per month for unlimited online viewing and would still include four of the normally $1 DVD rentals as part of the plan. Which platforms would get the service weren't part of the study.
The deal could be a major blow to Netflix. Although it mails out movies directly to subscribers, its plans start at a minimum $9 per month. The veteran's chief advantage would be device support, as Netflix is now almost ubiquitous among modern devices like Blu-ray players and will also work in HD on certain platforms.
A Redbox Internet plan would also potentially upset the movie industry as a whole, including its online division. Per-title Internet video remains popular at services like iTunes or the Zune Video Marketplace but could be easily disturbed by unlimited viewing that would often cost less than a single online rental. Movie studios themselves have often opposed Redbox and have deliberately forced it to wait four weeks before carrying releases to shelter DVD sales and traditional rentals. [via High-Def Digest]