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May 25th, 2018

Redbox Instant Beta Service Offers Instant Headaches


Note: All images pulled from the Redbox Instant mobile app.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was very intrigued and even a little excited about Redbox unveiling their instant streaming service. I enthusiastically put in my email to get an invite for the Beta test, waited patiently and barely a week later I was awarded with an access code. Having read nothing about the service prior to signing up I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Now that I’ve laid my eyes on it, played with its features and browsed its selection I can confidently tell you to hold on to every dime you even thought about forking out for this- hell, I’d even say not to waste a moment of your time on this Earth with the free trial until some serious work is put into this.

Before I start rolling out some of the screenshots of the interface let me first describe what you will see when you get the app installed and running. The menus run smoothly and are relatively easy to navigate- and that’s about the extent of my compliments for Redbox Instant. Naturally, you shouldn’t expect that you’re going to be able to stream all brand new releases for free right from your home for the low $8 price (which includes 4 free Redbox codes you can redeems at any Kiosk, $6 for the service without the free codes), but I was a bit baffled by the price ranges for the newer releases. Sure there’s a convenience being able to stay home to watch the latest releases at a certain price, but when I have an actual redbox location barely two minutes away $1.27 is a better incentive than upwards of $6 per rental. Not to mention I have an actual video store on my way home from work that I can get new releases the Redbox Instant service doesn’t have and cheaper as well. Throw in the fact that the vast majority of the free movies Redbox Instant does have that I’d actually want to watch I can already get from Netflix Instant. There’s virtually no logical reason anyone should even consider Verizon’s Redbox Instant service over Netflix, even if you don’t want the four free codes to save a couple bucks.


The image above shows you what the basic choice menu looks like where you can pick what kind of titles you’d like to browse. The Subscription titles are what you get for free to stream and the Digital Rentals are the newer titles that have separate pricing for rentals and an option for purchase. Granted, if the $5 to $6 rental price is more practical for you than driving to a physical Redbox Kiosk then maybe the serve would benefit you- but I’m not at all convinced that that’s the case.


This screenshot shows you the Rental price for the specific title you’ve selected- as you can see you have an option between Standard Definition, High Def and Purchase. I get that it’s not Redbox’s fault that they can’t offer newer releases to stream for free, but then again I wasn’t begging them to get into the video streaming business. I don’t think they offer enough value here to justify the move or to even compete with Netflix. A majority of the free titles I skimmed through I’ve already seen available on Netflix and everything on their Digital Rental section I have available to me much cheaper than what they offer- and I don’t have to pay $6 or $8 a month to have them available to me at the cheaper rate. You do also have the option to reserve DVD’s at a Kiosk- but again, the free Redbox app already gave me that option without the monthly subscription.

Obviously this is just my opinion on the service and I can’t be the final say for anyone interested in checking it out and you honesty have nothing to lose since it’s currently offered with a 1-Month free trial. If I haven’t steered you away just yet you can check out some more screenshots from the service below and head over to the site to throw in your email to be considered being sent an access code for access to the Beta version.

For my money, while Netflix Instant has its own issues and limitations, but is still the king of the hill in the instant streaming industry and I don’t see anything coming close to dethroning it anytime soon- certainly not the current incarnation of Redbox Instant from Verizon anyway.







  1. TomTom46

    One of the best reviews I’ve read so far, I agree totally. And don’t expect the selection or pricing to get much better over time. RedBox doesn’t want you to give up on their kiosks, so the streaming rental prices will never come down to that level. And Verizon doesn’t want you to give up your cable subscription, so they will always limit the available content. They have already said they will not carry TV shows, which Netflix has proven is the most popular type of content for subscription streaming.

  2. After having to pay a late fee because my redbox kiosk was full and I couldn’t even return my video I’m just going to stick to Netflix for streaming and Amazon for newer rentals/purchases.

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