By Monet Thompson: Creative Editor
With Netflix’s recent price hike and the loss of Starz Entertainment’s content (effective next February), Redbox has an opportunity to take over what was primarily Netflix’s territory. Redbox president Mitch Lowe announced plans of an online movie service that, like Netflix, would charge a subscription fee (instead of the “per movie” policy of Amazon VOD and Itunes). Redbox’s one dollar (per night) DVD rentals may be an alternative to Netflix users who think the price hike is just not worth it.
Netflix has decided to charge users $7.99 for the DVD rental plan and the Online Streaming plan, meaning that users who formerly spent $9.99 for both plans are now charged $15.99. This price hike has led some customers to cancel their service and look for alternatives, like Blockbuster, whose prices are still more than Netflix with a one DVD at a time plan for $9.99. Blockbuster also boasts having movies 28 days before Redbox and Netflix. Games and Bluray are also available for rent, and a 30 day free trial is currently available from Blockbuster.
Redbox does have an advantage against both Netflix and Blockbuster and that is simply location. With 33,300 locations, conveniently placed at supermarkets, Walmarts and drug stores, it is easier and quicker for people to rent and return movies. They also now offer games for two dollars a night for Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, with titles like Dead Island and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
If they decide to go through with the plans for online streaming, the future of Netflix could be jeopardized. However, for now, Netflix still has one of the largest libraries of content available for streaming, and is also available on many devices including Xbox, Wii, iOS and Android.
Alternative services for online streaming include Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD and Walmart’s Vudu. The two latter services are pay per movie, while Hulu Plus is subscription based.