Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Report: Redbox ready to battle Netflix streaming

Redbox reportedly told a group of analysts yesterday that it is in fact working on a streaming service to take on Netflix, though it didn't say for when exactly.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

The streaming market is about to get a bit more crowded, according to a new report.

Redbox President Mitch Lowe confirmed to a group of analysts yesterday that his company is planning to launch a streaming service to compete with Netflix, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. Similar to Netflix, Redbox's streaming service will be subscription-based, requiring customers to pay a single monthly fee for access to its slate of films.

Netflix is the dominant force in the streaming business. The company offers content from major film studios and top television networks across a wide array of devices, including all major game consoles, HDTVs, and a slew of set-top boxes. It competes with Hulu Plus and Vudu, among other content providers, but at least so far, no other competitor has delivered the same breadth of content for a single monthly subscription fee.

But Amazon, like Redbox, might be planning to change that.

Earlier this month, the LA Times cited unnamed sources that claimed Amazon would be announcing its streaming service by the end of the month. The company originally wanted to launch it at the beginning of February, but it had difficulty acquiring enough content to do so, the sources said.

That report followed leaked screenshots of what appeared to be an Amazon streaming service that was available at no additional charge to the company's Prime customers, who pay $79 per year for free two-day shipping.

Reports of Amazon launching a streaming service sooner rather than later were further supported by the company's recent acquisition of the remaining shares of U.K.-based Lovefilm, which offers DVD-by-Mail and a streaming service in several countries across Europe.

But instead of facing two competitors--Amazon and Redbox--Netflix might only have to face one. The LA Times is reporting that its sources believe Amazon could decide to partner with Redbox to deliver a streaming service to compete with Netflix.

At this point, neither Amazon nor Redbox are talking. The companies did not immediately respond to request for comment. But it seems clearer now than ever that Netflix will be facing stiff competition in the near future from at least one opponent.