Will people mourn for a service that didn’t have a chance to begin with? Redbox Instant, which launched early last year with the help of Verizon, is officially shutting down on Oct. 7, 2014. That’s soon! Real soon. The service will continue to operate as normal until then, but once the clock strikes midnight, it’ll be turned off for good.
The service posted a note on its website on Saturday (and also sent out emails to subscribers), announcing the news.
“Applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers,” Redbox said.
It was always an uphill battle for a service that tried to adapt to the post-DVD market. Redbox was great for awhile, but Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant have become much too strong for any competitors to muscle in. Not only that, but Redbox Instant was at the center of a credit card fraud issue this year, GigaOm noted, stagnating the service’s growth. Rather than fighting on, the decision was made to call it quits.
Redbox Instant attempting to tie in digital streaming with physical rentals, but the idea never really took off. Worse, its catalog was never quite as strong as its competitors, giving customers zero incentive so sign up. Netflix, which consistently has a strong lineup of content, also has its own growing library of original TV shows; the companies are in completely different leagues. For now, it doesn’t sound like Redbox’s physical DVD kiosks will be affected, but you have to wonder how much longer it can survive.