Netflix finally has a true competitor.
Redbox has just officially launched its own movie streaming service, called Redbox Instant, after a six-month "beta" trial.
But does it stack up?
The Redbox Advantage
Redbox Instant, launched with the help of Verizon Wireless, has one big advantage: It ties in online movie streaming with the convenience of those big red supermarket kiosks.
So its standard package for $8 a month is expected to be a big hit: You get four DVD rentals from your local Redbox kiosk, plus unlimited streaming downloads.
For even less, the basic Redbox streaming service is just $6 a month, $2 less than Netflix.
The Redbox Downside
But the tech blog Tech Crunch.com says Redbox's content is not comparable with Netflix.
It lists 4,600 titles, as opposed to Netflix's 14,000 TV shows and movies (or 60,000, if you include individual TV episodes).
Which leads to a couple of downsides of Redbox: It is currently not offering TV shows. Unlike Netflix, Redbox will offer only movies at this point.
Another downside: not all movie studios have partnered with Redbox yet, meaning some hot movies will not be available for streaming and you will still have to visit your nearest Redbox kiosk for some new movies.
The Bottom Line
So while Netflix finally has a true streaming movie competitor, at a lower monthly price, and with the bonus of supermarket boxes, it may not be the best deal for true movie lovers....just yet.
Some pros and cons to know, so you don't waste your money.
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