With traditional video stores such as Blockbuster appearing to be on the brink of collapse, it’s time for the young upstarts of Redbox and Netflix to expand, but are they now on a collision course with one another?
One of the biggest complaints about Netflix has been the fact that it has not yet expanded outside of the United States. People in other countries have been anxious to try the service, especially its streaming Watch Instantly service. It appears that the residents of Canada are about to get their wish. Netflix announced today that it would be bringing its Watch Instantly service to Canada this fall, but it will not be attempting to do rentals by mail.
This plan marks several firsts for the company as it is the first foreign expansion for the brand as well as the first time it will be offering a subscription plan to its streaming service that doesn’t include a DVD rental component.
There is no word as of yet as to how much it will cost, what titles will be available or what third-party electronics you will be able to use to stream the content to your television. Canadians who wish to be notified of when the service will be available can go to Netflix.ca and sign up for notification of when the site launches.
Coming hot on the heels of this is Redbox with its announcement that it is preparing its own streaming video service. Apparently the kiosk DVD company is talking with streaming service provider Sonic Solutions Inc. about teaming up since it already has the rights to thousands of movies and the technology in place to deliver them. This would save the DVD rental company the headaches of launching all new software, negotiating with the film studios and it would get it into the fight with Netflix that much quicker.
With Netflix’s bank account presumably about to expand, and Redbox growing its market footprint, the days of the traditional video rental store really do seem to be drawing to a close, but are these companies really feeling the need to tear each other down when they are both so relatively young? They may end up doing more damage to each other than growing a new market paradigm.
What say you? Are you ready for this much streaming goodness?