Streaming Movie Showdown: Redbox vs. Netflix

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DVD rental machine kingpin Redbox plans to challenge Netflix with its own online movie streaming service, the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

A subscription-based digital solution a la Hulu Plus, users will pay one monthly fee to wirelessly transmit movies to multiple devices or access physical disks from Redbox kiosks, rather than rent films individually, as on iTunes. Presumably planning to become accessible, like Netflix, through free dedicated iPhone and Android apps and/or streaming home theater devices (HDTVs, Blu-ray players, etc.), Redbox is currently in talks with potential online content partners.

Analysts speculate that prospective allies may include Wal-Mart, Vudu or Amazon.com, which reportedly is planning to debut its own streaming online movie subscription service shortly.

Redbox’s shift to online movie rentals comes as TV and film audiences are increasingly abandoning physical media for online or Web-based viewing, and studios are delaying rental releases and raising DVD wholesale prices.

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