Redbox recently kicked off their brand new online streaming service this past month, joining an ever growing list of competing services in the market. The article by Eli Blumenthal on Cnet dives into the rental chains latest endeavor called ‘Free Live TV’ which offers consumers as the name suggests, complimentary access to television shows and certain movies. The article compared the new service to Amazon’s ‘IMDb TV’ which similarly offers free advertisement based content in favor of a traditional subscriptions model. The service comes after years of decline in the popularity of the companies traditional disk based rental service that are common among grocery stores and shopping malls. The article makes a point of mentioning the serious lack of content currently offered on the platform which may explain why the service does not require users to make an account to access shows and movies.
At the time of this article, the service is only accessible to limited test markets and the company has stated that the platform will be going live nationally soon. The service has publicized its partnerships with channels such as ‘USA Today’ and ‘TMZ’. I find it odd that Redbox has launched their new service early in select markets despite the serious lack of content currently found on the platform; resulting in what appears to be rather lukewarm reception by users. With the market already flooded with streaming services and showing no signs of slowing down, it’s interesting that Redbox has decided to throw their hat in the ring with almost nothing to differentiate their product from the rest. Perhaps there will be a market for a service like this as it is completely free at the moment which may entice people searching for streaming option that doesn’t require a subscription like Netflix and Disney Plus.