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Redbox Instant Shuts Down; Buckles To Netflix, Hackers

Redbox announced Saturday that it's streaming video service will shut down Oct. 7. The site faced setbacks from hackers and some serious competition.
Posted at 10:17 PM, Oct 04, 2014

After 18 short months, Redbox's video streaming service, Redbox Instant, is shutting down. 

A notice went up on the site Saturday saying it will shut down Oct. 7. Anyone who is owed a refund will receive one. 

From the start, Redbox Instant was built as more of a companion to its popular movie-rental kiosks rather than a standalone service.

It offered unlimited access to a selection of a few thousand movies in addition to four rentals a month from any of its kiosk locations for $8 a month.

At first, Redbox Instant seemed like it had a chance to compete with reigning streaming kings like Netflix because movies came to Redbox faster after release than they did to other services but, as Re/code puts it, the selection was "uninspiring."

Redbox Instant also faced some hacker trouble that probably put more than a few nails in its coffin as well.

Gigaom reports that the site was forced to stop accepting new memberships for the last three months over concerns that hackers were using the site to commit fraud.

Plus, that meant if a current user's card expired, that user couldn't renew their subscription.

But even if being prevented from gaining new customers and retaining old ones wasn't enough to kill the business, then the incredibly stiff competition did it in. 

PC Magazine writes that while Redbox Instant was struggling to get its feet on the ground, the amount of content streaming through Netflix had increased by 350 percent over the last three years.

Plus, Netflix boasts a huge catalog of TV and movies, coupled with its Emmy award winning original content.

Not to mention that Amazon Prime Instant Video's new original content like "Transparent" is making it look more and more like contender against Netflix every day.

So it looks like it just wasn't in the cards for Redbox Instant. There is some good news for the service, though: its DVD and Blu Ray rental kiosks remain unaffected. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.