The changes might not surprise those who closely follow the streaming video deals that seem to hit every day, but it’s illuminating to see a statistical measure of the shift in the top providers’ content libraries. That’s what Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson served up this week in a look at how Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Redbox Instant compare in their offerings of top 50 movies available for streaming over the past three years and top 75 TV shows available from the past four years.
Amazon “caught up significantly” to Netflix in TV, Olson says — though both trail Hulu, which is owned by the major broadcast networks. Hulu Plus had 51% of the available hit TV shows in June, up from 44% a year ago. Yet while Netflix had 32%, down 1 percentage point, Amazon increased from 7% to 12%. (Redbox had zero both years.)
The story’s different for movies. Netflix had 12% of the available hits this year, down from 14%. But Amazon dropped from 12% to 6%. Redbox Instant also lost ground, falling to 7% from 10%. Hulu just had 1%, up from zero. Read More »
A lot of people are asking that question today after the company behind the DVD rental kiosks reported disappointing results for Q2. Shares of Outerwall (formerly Coinstar) closed down 13.2% after it said that Redbox revenues increased just 4% compared with the same period last year — even though the total number of kiosks was up 13%. Redbox came up short as bargain-hunters took advantage of promotions and only kept discs out for one night, resulting in a 9.9% decline in average revenue per kiosk. (DVDs go for $1.20 a night with Blu-ray discs $1.50.) The company also cut its forecast for the number of kiosks it will add this year while the experiment to sell sports and entertainment tickets at the kiosks “did not meet expectations”, CEO J. Scott Di Valerio told analysts. These developments will “accentuate concerns that the DVD rental market is quickly approaching saturation, and we believe that this is probably true”, says Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter. He also has soured on the Redbox Instant By Verizon streaming joint venture, saying the rollout “is moving at a very slow pace” and “revenues and profitability remain elusive.” Read More »
This could be an important addition for the joint venture between Redbox and Verizon: It has been hobbled by the limited number of devices that can access its streaming service — and Roku says that it has sold about 5M of its players in the U.S. Redbox Instant will be available on the platform sometime this summer. All Roku customers will be able to buy and rent individual videos. But initially the Redbox Instant subscription service will just be available to those who own Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450), and Roku HD (model 2500) players or the Roku Streaming Stick. “We’ve received overwhelming demand from our customers for Redbox Instant by Verizon on their Roku devices, and we’re pleased to be expanding the service this summer to meet that demand,” says Redbox Instant CEO Shawn Strickland. The subscription streaming service costs $8 a month and includes credits for rental discs at Redbox kiosks. It’s available to Android and iOS devices, Samsung Blu-ray devices and TVs with SmartHub, LG Smart TV and Blu-ray players, Google TV, Vizio PCs (through a browser), tablets and Co-Star through the Google Play store.
The new streaming service from Redbox and Verizon says it will be available on Xbox 360 gaming consoles “in the very near future.” And the Microsoft operation says that it will be “the exclusive gaming and entertainment launch partner” for Redbox Instant, which is still officially a beta test. But Redbox Instant plans to add other gaming consoles after it’s out of beta. The service needs to expand the number of platforms where viewers can use it: It’s currently available on Apple and Android phones and tablets, computers, Google TV, and smart TVs from Samsung and LG. But that’s still “quite limited compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBOGo,” BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says. Redbox Instant wants to establish itself as a movie-lover’s alternative to the other services, which are heavy on television fare. Redbox Instant charges $6 a month for a streaming-only service, $8 for streaming plus four nights worth of DVD rentals, or $9 for streaming and Blu-ray rentals.
That’s an important distinction, and a potentially risky strategy, for the new online service created by the joint venture between Verizon and DVD kiosk rental company Redbox. “We’re not the Netflix killer,” Redbox Instant By Verizon CEO Shawn Strickland said this morning at a briefing at the International CES confab in Las Vegas. While Netflix focuses on streaming TV series, his service’s ability to offer DVD rentals “is a core differentiator” while streaming “is positioning us for the future.” The problem with streaming movies is that the service can’t land most titles for about eight years — until they’re finished with the premium TV runs on channels led by HBO, Showtime and Starz. That’s baked into Redbox Instant deals with Warner Bros, Sony and MGM, although Strickland says that “there will be some exceptions.” One is from his pact with EPIX: It enables Redbox Instant to run movies from Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM about 60 days after they first appear on pay TV. Redbox Instant is still working on deals with other studios including Disney, Universal, and Fox. Read More »
The long-awaited public beta test for the Redbox Instant By Verizon streaming service didn’t roll out today quite the way its marketing folks envisioned. The problem isn’t that the joint venture announced its public opening with a mere tweet. (“Today’s the day!” it said. “Get on the wait list & get excited!”) The trouble arose when the company sent to people who had pre-registered their interest an email with a link to a promotional music video. The theme: “Trigger Some Happy.” The Redbox Instant folks took it down in an instant after they realized that the slogan would strike some people as inappropriate following last week’s tragic shootings in Connecticut. A spokeswoman apologized for the timing and explained that the company changed plans because it felt “let’s not give anyone pause.” Too late. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield found a copy and alerted investors that it’s “important to see the first real advertising/promotional spot for the service, even if the company does not want you to see it anymore.”
Aside from the timing, the whimsically strange promo probably will inspire strong feelings among some people about Redbox Instant’s ability to take on rivals including Netflix and Amazon Prime. Tell us what you think after you watch this: Read More »
This week, Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom discuss economic studies suggesting that movie moguls really are being rational when they favor a good story and dependable director over lots of big stars; what’s happening with Richard Schulze’s efforts to buy back Best Buy, the struggling big-box retailer he founded; and whether Netflix should be worried about streaming service Redbox Instant now that it has announced a price point and content providers.
Deadline Big Media Episode 13 (MP3 format)
Deadline Big Media Episode 13 (M4A format)
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We still don’t have a firm start date, although the joint venture between Redbox and Verizon says that consumers will be able to subscribe to a “beta product” sometime this month. Redbox Instant by Verizon‘s streaming service will cost a penny more than Netflix and will include four, one-night credits each month to rent DVDs at Redbox kiosks. For an additional dollar a month, customers can use the credits to rent Blu-ray discs. We still know little about the streaming content — Warner Bros is the only studio that has publicly said it will participate. But Redbox Instant says its new deal with EPIX will enable it to offer Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM movies 90 days after they appear on EPIX’s pay TV channel. The venture also will sell and rent digital versions of new movies from Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Relativity and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The web-based service will work with mobile devices powered by iOS and Android operating systems as well as Samsung Blu-ray Players and TVs with SmartHub, LG Smart TV and Blu-ray Players, and Google TV. Here’s today’s release: Read More »
That’s one of the details disclosed by web site GigaOm, which found a help page for people beta testing the streaming service that’s due to launch next month — with hopes to challenge Netfllix and Amazon Prime. (The help page now requires a password to access.) To be sure, things could change by the time Redbox Instant By Verizon launches; possibly December 17 based on info on the page. Still, the disclosures are interesting because Redbox and Verizon have been unusually tight-lipped about their plans. The report says they tentatively expect to charge $6 a month for unlimited access to videos. The joint venture has only disclosed one supplier: Warner Bros. But screen grabs show that beta users can access films from Lionsgate (including Killers and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family), Paramount (Rango, Iron Man 2, and Thor), Universal (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax), and Roadside Attractions (The Conspirator and The Last Godfather). Last month Coinstar CEO Paul Davis, whose company owns Redbox, told analysts that they’re “getting the content secured” and “making great progress.” Users reportedly will be able to stream to devices powered by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS as well as Microsoft’s Xbox. For an additional $2 a month, subscribers receive four credits, which expire at the end of each month, to rent DVDs at Redbox kiosks. There’ll also be opportunities to rent and download content via the web.