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Redbox And Netflix At Battle

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Since Blockbuster and other movie rental places are all out of business now, when you want to watch a new movie, you have to rely on either Netflix or Redbox. It was announced earlier today that Redbox is going to start offering a subscription-based internet streaming service, which will greatly increase the rivalry between it and Netflix.

I love Redbox. There’s plenty in the area (30,000 in total), and they always have a great selection of new movies for only $1. As long as you return the movie by 9 pm the following night, you will not be charged anything more. If you want to buy the DVD, it is just $5. The movies also change once a week. It’s so easy to use and provides for hours of entertainment. They reimburse you if you have problems as well. One time a DVD had scratches on it and did not work. I called the number provided and received two free purchases. There’s really no way you can lose with Redbox.

As forNetflix, it costs just $7.99 to watch any movie or TV show episode instantly on your television, computer, PS3, XBOX 360, Wii, or even your iPad or iPhone. Also, for just $2 more a month, you can have any DVD delivered to your house by mail, and you can exchange it for any other movie or show as often as you’d like. There are never any due dates or late fees, and they have all kinds of movie and shows, not just the most recent ones. I’ve never used Netflix, but it sounds like an awesome deal, especially if you’re a big movie guru.

Redbox president Mitch Lowe told analysts about the decision for Redbox to go streaming.

A monthly fee will give consumers access to movies on multiple devices as well as discs through kiosks — and attempt to pick up a few of Netflix’s 20 million subscribers to its DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming subscription plans.

Redbox is owned by Coinstar, but will align with a different company to offer the service. Amazon and Hulu are two possibilities, but nothing has been confirmed by Lowe yet.

The main reason for the company’s upgrade is their decrease in revenue, which is partly because many people would rather watch a movie online or on their computer over renting a DVD and watching it on a television screen. Lowe, along with investors, are eager to launch the improved service, which will hopefully increase their revenue.

The second reason for the upgrade is because of competition, which makes it difficult to keep prices to only $1 per rental.

A new report says that Disney has raised wholesale prices on DVDs it sells to both Redbox and Netflix to $17.99 per new release —  more than the studios typically charge their largest wholesale customers but less than big retail chains like Wal-Mart charge consumers for high-profile new releases.

Lowe hopes to launch the subscription-based service by the end of the year. Whether it will be a positive thing that brings in more money, or a negative one that forces all Redbox locations to die out, it can’t hurt to make this change, especially considering how successful Netflix has been.

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

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