Redbox, which has operated DVD rental kiosks at convenient shopping centers across the country, has announced that the company will be entering the movie streaming business in 2011. Redbox didn’t name a partner yet to host and manage its streaming business, and the company is uncertain whether it would adopt a subscription plan, like Netflix which offers unlimited streaming for a fixed monthly price, or an a la carte model similar to iTunes and Blockbuster. Speculation of the company entering the streaming arena spurred in April when a survey from the company asked consumers their thoughts for a $3.95 monthly plan that would include unlimited streaming in addition to four free DVD rentals; right now, four DVD rentals would cost $4 alone.
Some potential partners for Redbox’s streaming service include Sonic Solutions, which helps to host Blockbuster and Best Buy’s streaming efforts, Amazon, which has its own Amazon on Demand a la carte streaming service, and WalMart, which owns Vudu. If Redbox can manage to pull off a $4-$6 per month DVD streaming plan with a finite number of rentals, it could gain competitive advantage over market incumbent Netflix, which is exploring a streaming-only subscription plan for the U.S. market.
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