Hey, you broke young adult, you are probably reading this because you are tired of paying for those Redbox DVDs. We here at Critical Financial understand, frivolous expenses add up when you are calculating your budget. So, we have compiled a short list of affordable Redbox alternatives that will leave you in the black.
For those of you that have no clue what Redbox is here is a brief history lesson on the DVD kiosk service. In 2002, Redbox was founded by McDonald’s Ventures, LLC, as a way to provide more convenience for McDonald’s customers. The first Redbox kiosks were placed outside of McDonald’s locations and initially sold food items like milk and sandwiches. Eventually, it moved away from food and started exclusively selling DVDs, and then video games.
When the VHS and video cassette era was on its way out, Redbox was the catalyst that helped mitigate the transition. But, just like Blockbuster and VHS, Redbox is starting to phase out. Redbox is convenient, but being able to sit on your couch and stream the movie that came out on DVD is much easier. So, what are the Redbox alternatives that you have at your disposal?
Streaming is King
One of the best Redbox alternatives is digital streaming. Digital streaming has been huge in the last couple of years with companies like Hulu and Netflix dominating the market. Many streaming services offer hundreds of different movies that you are able to watch for a low monthly fee. Yes, there is a monthly fee, however, when you factor the total cost you are actually saving money and getting more. For example, let’s say you rent two DVDs every week for a month. That is $3 plus tax which roughly works out to be about $12 a month. Netflix and Hulu both ring up at only $8 a month.
Now you may be saying what is a couple of extra dollars each month? Well, when you factor in the gas money and possible late fees that you may be charged those dollars tend to add up. Also, with streaming services you get a wide library of movies and television shows. Netflix and Hulu have been churning out a large number of original movies and shows, as well. Variety always wins. Also, if you do not want to pay sites like Crackle offer its service for free. You will have to sit through a couple commercials, though.
Redbox tried its hand at streaming content, however, the company decided to shut it down in 2014. The plan was very similar to the Netflix and Hulu, but what set them apart was the addition of 4 Redbox movies a month at any kiosk. Recently, the company has begun planning a relaunch of the streaming service.
Swapadvd.com can refresh your current collection
We are certain there are a few of you out there that have towers of DVDs in your collection. Most of them are watched once or twice and tucked away to collect dust. Do not be a hoarder, no one likes a hoarder. What you could do is gift them a new home with someone else, however, instead of getting the money you would receive a new DVD that you have not seen. This is what Swapadvd offers, you sign up for free on the website. The whole system works on a per credit basis.
To start you have to post 10 DVDs in your “tower” to offer other members. Once that happens you will receive a “gift” credit toward your account. You earn more credits by sending out the DVDs in your collection. Most of the DVDs only cost one credit, but there are some that may cost more. The cost of sending your DVDs is handled by the site, as well. The more you send the more you are able to purchase essentially. As of right now, the site is free, however, there is a Swap fee of 49 cents. As far as Redbox alternatives go, Swapadvd is a definite win.
Go to your local library
This is not the most glamorous Redbox alternative, but in a pinch, it could save a lot of time and money. Most libraries have a pretty large selection of media that you are able to choose from. Depending on funding and where you are located you could find a large amount of classic and new movies that you could choose from. Borrowing from your local library allows you to take home multiple movies or games instead of one or two. The return policy is much better, as well. A week to watch everything is much better than 24 hours.
BONUS: Jailbroken streaming devices
Now we do not condone breaking the law, but we did find another way that you are able to watch thousands of movies and shows for free essentially. Jailbroken streaming devices are the holy grail of Redbox alternatives that you have at your disposal. With the right host and root platform, you have movies and shows spanning decades in your fingertips. There are some programs that have movies as soon as they are released in theaters. That being said, a lot of the movies are not going to be in high definition quality. If you wait long enough though the program will add better quality versions. Make sure you stream responsibly; we do not take responsibility for any legal trouble you may face.
All things must come to an end, and sadly it looks like Redbox may be on its last leg. It was very nice not having to deal with lines, membership cards and high return fees. Hopefully, these Redbox alternatives will give you hours of entertainment at a great price. Go watch a movie already.