Is Redbox Gunning For Netflix Instant Streaming Viewers?

By: paddy zhang | Posted: 02nd July 2010

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The highly rated iPlayer from the BBC continues to grow in popularity. After a small dip in February the online figures continue to rise. On Wednesday the usage and viewingstatistics for the BBC iplayer catch-up service were released. Some of the more interesting points to come out were:-

iPlayer, dont you just love it?
Viewing stats from all of the platforms that iPlayer runs on (including the Virgin Media's implementation of the service, as well as on computers, game consoles and mobile phones), the iPlayer received 117.6 million requests for programs (around 84 million for there TV programs and around 33 million for radio programs), up from 116.4 million in February, but down from 120.3 million in January.

There were 17.3 million TV programming requests via Virgin Media, the lowest number since last September; and 67 million TV programming requests online (including PC's, game consoles and mobiles), the lowest number since last December.While the Online services recieved 3.2 million programming requests per day on average, down from 3.5 million in February (note: the BBC says daily usage stats for the iPlayer on Virgin Media are not yet available as "Virgin Media data arrives later than online stats"). The service attracted an average of 1.28 million daily users online in March, compared to an average of 1.37 million daily users in February and 1.29 million in January.

The decreases were all driven by declines in usage of the iPlayer's TV offerings, while usage of its radio offerings was stable.An average weekly amount of time per user spent watching TV programs on the iPlayer in March increased 6% to 68 minutes and the average weekly amount of time per user spent listening to radio programs increased 8% to 176 minutes.The iPlayer is most commonly used for TV viewing at roughly the same time of day as most linear TV viewing takes place (i.e. primetime), though there is proportionally more daytime and late-peak use.It is probably a given that useage will increase month on month with iPlayer running on so many devices and set-top boxes. With the proliferation of internet-connected tv sets expect the rise to continue.

If you were Redbox and you have the low rental DVD business wrapped up, where do you turn your sights to next? It looks as if Netflix's video streaming business is the target. Highdefdigest reports that in a Redbox survey sent out to a selection of customers, the question was asked - would they be interested in an unlimited streaming video service that would cost $3.95 a month (under half the Netflix lowest option). Even better, the fee would include unlimited streaming and free rentals from any Redbox kiosk.

Redbox want some streaming action
Netflix are on a roll right now and launching its service on every device known to man. The service is expected to grow by two million subscribers this year from gaming consoles subscribers alone. A Redbox service that undercuts them so much could be a big threat.

However, Netflix has agreed so many deals with hardware manufacturers to include its software that the Redbox service could be severely limited. Netflix instant streaming is built into television sets, media streaming devices, game consoles, Blu-ray disc players and much more right now. They also recently struck a deal with movie studios Fox and Universal. This means Redbox would have a lot of catching up to do.
Redbox would also need to strike deals with the Hollywood studios, but will they agree with such a low price structure? Some say there is not enough demand for additional pay to view services, but you can be sure Redbox have analysed the market.
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