Redbox Raising Prices By 20% And Planning To Add Streaming Service

By Will LeBlanc 2011-10-28 06:00:00discussion comments
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Redbox, the popular video rental service that helped take a bite out of Blockbuster, is gearing up to raise its prices. The 20% price hike will bring the per night rental cost of a DVD from a clean $1.00 to a whopping $1.20 in order to account for increased operational costs, mostly from debit card fees, to keep the business profitable, according to Deadline.

Redbox, who saw an increase in rentals this year when Netflix raised their prices to cover their costs of operation, is also planning to open a streaming service so viewers can simply view movies online, a novel idea that no one else has thought of yet....oh wait. Presumably, the initial launch of the service will be lower than Netflix’s current pricing structure as their selection will likely not be half as broad, but eventually those costs will rise as well.

The Netlfix debate has been the biggest bout of White Whine (or First-World Problems if you prefer) in the last decade. Thousands of people bitched and moaned that their prices were going up, but no one really stopped to think about just how great that service is. Mathed out, if you rent a movie every night from Redbox it will cost you $36 a month on the new pricing scheme, while Netflix’s one-DVD at a time plan only costs you $8. And unlimited streaming for $8 is reverse highway robbery. But somehow, the spoiled public was so affronted by a business correcting their pricing to account for actual operational costs that Redbox has an opportunity to really grab at the market.

Trying to bolster its online reservation service, Redbox is offering movies for $1.00 through November for those who reserve a DVD online before picking it up in store, and they plan to unveil the streaming service by year’s end.

Redbox certainly has its place. If you want to see a new movie right this second, it’s very convenient to just hit the RedBox on the way out of the grocery store and enjoy your night, and a $.20 per night price increase isn’t going to slow many people down. However, once people get off their high horses and realize what a phenomenal service Netflix offers (seriously, if there was nothing offering streaming out there right now and a new company appeared offering unlimited streaming for even $15/month, we’d all be all over it) Redbox’s bubble will burst and the natural order of things will be restored.
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