Are you a movie fan? There’s been a few good ones this year and more on the way right now. If you can’t get to the theater or don’t want to pay the ridiculous prices they now charge then there are plenty of other options, both online and physical.
One popular physical option is Redbox. You’ve likely seen the little kiosiks both inside and outside of stores. They have permeated the United States.
Well, Redbox has now teamed with Amazon Echo – better known as Alexa. You can now enable the skill and begin using it and right away
Ask a question like Alexa open Redbox, Alexa what’s new at Redbox or Alexa find my nearest kiosk.
“The Redbox Alexa skill allows you discover what new release movies and games are available at your local Redbox kiosk. You can ask about specific titles, or what is new this week. You can also learn about the plot, the rating, and who stars in a movie” Amazon claims
You can enable the skill here. It’s free for everyone, but Redbox will cost you.
We are only a week away from the next big gaming console launch — Sony is set to debut its PlayStation 4 on November 15, inching ahead of Xbox One by a week. Both consoles have their pros and cons, and fans residing in opposite camps may cite a particular game or feature as the defining difference, but one thing both boxes will have is Redbox Instant.
Last week the video streaming service landed on the PS3, and it was expected to also come to the next-generation console. Today the speculation becomes official reality.
Like last week’s PS3 launch, this version also comes with an only-on-Sony feature — “exclusive to Playstation, the PS3 and PS4 contain the Playlist feature containing a specially-curated, rotating collection of Redbox Instant by Verizon movies that highlight the most exciting titles and serve as a great destination for fast, simple and fun movie discovery”.
“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with PlayStation by bringing Redbox Instant by Verizon to PS4”, said Shawn Strickland, CEO of Redbox Instant by Verizon.
As with any other Redbox Instant subscription, you will pay $8 per month in exchange for unlimited streaming and four physical disc rentals per month from any of the many kiosks. If you wish to take it for a test run, the company offers the first month free as a trial.
Time to mix it up a bit to keep things interesting. Watch and see :) Lots of great commentary tonight. Times are a changing and it is going to be an amazing time to watch it all go down. I will be on the road for the next two weeks, will likely have guest hosts for the next two shows enjoy.
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Netflix apparently woke up from its stupor and stepped back from the plan to spin off its DVD-rental service into a separate unit called Qwikster. Universally panned by critics and users, the attempt to separate the businesses seemed like a terrible, terrible mistake.
Fortunately for Netflix users, it was a mistake and Netflix has been smart enough to reverse course and listen to the wants of its users. There are other companies I wish would do the same (facebook and Google, I’m looking at you!). Of course, it is really too late for users like me, who already left Netflix when prices increased by 60% or so. I was never a fan of their streaming service, since it never had what I wanted as a stream option. I could get very old things on streaming, including some old television shows, but what I wanted to stream were recent releases most of the time. Or at least, releases from the last ten years or so. I thought the idea of streaming was wonderful, since I could use streaming on my laptop when I was stuck in a hotel room in a random town for an evening. But nothing I ever wanted to see was available through their streaming service.
As for their rentals, We had pretty much watched everything there was to watch that we wanted to watch. At some point, we realized that we were not getting new rentals very often (maybe once or twice a month) and that wasn’t worth what I was paying. It certainly wasn’t going to be worth what I was going to be paying once the price went up. There was a time when movies were coming and going from our mailbox like that flap was a revolving door. But towards the end, when I canceled our service, we just weren’t using the service all that much. That time was past.
And overall, streaming was never really a huge draw for me to begin with, as we have no device with our television that will allow streaming to happen. We don’t game, so there’s no XBox, and we don’t have OTT boxes either. It’s not how we, as a family, operate. And I’m sure we’re not alone.
I’m still happy to see that Netflix knows when it has made a mistake, and is willing to change direction. And if they’d drop their prices back, we might just subscribe again. For now, it will be RedBox and whatever we can pick up from our pretty up-to-date local library. And there’s always MegaVideo, which my teenager uses to watch almost everything.
I need a clone, but who doesn’t! I have a mother load of content that I cover at a very serious pace. Your Geek is back in the swing of things, and feeling much better with the voice box on the mend. We are accepting underwriters to the show, listen for details this is significantly discounted rate over standard ad rates for the show. We have an Ohana member that is in need of new employment I give some details in the show tonight on that as well.
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The once-king of movie rentals is now losing on market share big. Their online rental system is non-existent, thanks to a patent battle win by Netflix in 2006. So how can Blockbuster cure part of their problems? Maybe sell to Google?
Back in 1985, David Cook put together the first Blockbuster store in Dallas, Texas. Scott Beck, John Melk and Wayne Huizenga took it to franchise – which would then be bought by Viacom.
From there, it was pretty much opening stores and gobbling up others like a Pac-Man game. I remember a local company called Doorstep video that was acquired by Blockbuster by 1990. By 2000, Blockbuster was the dominant movie rental chain.
Enter the Online Movie Revolution
Once the Internet began to infiltrate, the ability to order movies at home caused concern to the rental industry. The only thing to do is join the revolution. Blockbuster and Netflix show up with rental business models. What a great idea – Rent a movie from the computer and wait a week for a disc, watch it, then wait another 2 weeks for the next disc.
Of course within time, that model would get better. No late fees, return at any time. They even found it worked on a gaming model with Gamefly.
Blockbuster sweetened the pot with the option to return to their stores and get more movies while they wait for the next titles. Add no late fees – It looked like a great option. Netflix went a different route. They went the online way – Movies from your computer right now. Through the web or through a set-top box.
Movies on Demand – Netflix on everything
Netflix’s model seemed to be more powerful than Blockbuster’s. Of course, you could only get Blockbuster on limited devices. Netflix is on the web, through your Boxee, Roku, TiVo and more. Last year, Netflix subscriber base grew and Blockbuster lost share. They closed stores, but that was not enough to keep up with Netflix and now emerging Red Box locations – where you can rent movies in the grocery store (which you have to go to anyway).
Franchise owners sued Blockbuster for their “Total Access” feature. Netflix sued Blockbuster for copying their online model. Blockbuster was also investigated for their “No Late Fee” claim. The issue was over it possibly being misleading. Blockbuster would charge a “restocking fee” for any movie 30 days late, as well as charge the renter the full price of the video if it also was over 30 days late.
It’s probably a good thing they didn’t buy Circuit City in 2008. Blockbuster might not have been around today if that acquisition came through.
So why should Google buy Blockbuster
After all that, you may be wondering why I think Google should buy Blockbuster. It seems like the company is a failing business model, but that’s not completely true. It’s just disorganized.
Blockbuster needs to enter the on demand market the same way Netflix has – ASAP. What a better way than through Google.
YouTube by Blockbuster
YouTube has struggled to get their online rental model going. Distribution companies like Paramount and Universal try to limit the on-demand option by at least 30 days. On Demand rentals turn into a “let’s watch this movie while we wait for the new stuff”. Hopefully you can find something in the sea of B-movies.
With Blockbuster’s online rental, along with brick and mortar stores and YouTube’s on-demand models, it might be a great marriage. Add to that, YouTube has reach on Boxee, Roku and TiVo already, along with a host of other devices. For $14.95 a month, you could get the best of both worlds.
How moving Google on the block would change Blockbuster
There is still something to be said about the store on the corner. Google could definitely take advantage of the older business model. Just look at how popular the Apple store is.
Google Blockbuster stores could not only have movie and game rentals, but also be the place to try out the Android OS. Maybe play with a Android tablet or phone. You could buy some Blogger wear and get expert advice on Google Adsense or maybe how to make a good YouTube video.
Get in on the Gaming
Oh, yeah – we didn’t even touch game rentals. Of course, Google would enter in a new market. They would compete with Game Fly for rentals and Best Buy for purchases. The “games on demand” market is in it’s infancy. When it explodes, Google will be right there to cash in.
Google would get local exposure, while Blockbuster’s model would grow dramatically. YouTube would get a boost on their online movie rentals, Android might get a home and Google would get into the gaming market at the right time – when it is low.
One should expect that to change when people start spending again, because there is still a great predicted growth in this market.
Blockbuster is trying to cut costs to keep investors happy. Their stock price is bordering on losing their filing. They have put their international assets on the market and will be closing stores in the next quarter to compensate. Google stepping in and paying a modest price including stock buyout would keep the company from going under.
Of course, this is only a suggestion. Other companies would also profit from getting Blockbuster – Best Buy and Walmart for example. Even Apple could see great advantage to incorporate what Blockbuster has. It’s just a question of who’s gonna do it.