If you were suffering from insomnia last night and were annoyed you couldn’t access Lightbox then today take comfort in the fact that Lightbox was down to bring Kiwi’s the biggest update the streaming service has had in its 4 year history.
Up until now Lightbox has been a TV-on demand subscription service but that is no longer the case with Movies now being added to the on-demand service offerings. The leap forward for Lightbox will see users able to rent all the latest New Release movies for $6.99 and older movies for a price of $4.99. At this stage movies will not be included in the price of your Lightbox subscription which is about the only downside.
Before we beat up Lightbox for not including movies as part of the monthly subscription costs keep in mind that acquiring TV and Movie rights is a very complex arena. Lightbox was originally set up in 2014 as a TV streaming service with no real interest in streaming movies. In that time Netflix has officially come to New Zealand and Neon has also continued to fight for content. Because Lightbox was so focused on TV content it meant that Netflix and Neon were primarily fighting for the rights for movies to be part of their on-demand libraries and those rights deals can tie up content for quite some time. Even if Lightbox wanted to include Movies as part of their subscription costs it’s pretty much odds-on that it would be offering some pretty poor quality, super old movies until the rights for more popular films become available (think Netflix when it first officially came to New Zealand).
I would bet my house on Lightbox adding Movies to their subscriptions in the future when they are able to negotiate rights deals that give their subscribers quality films. In the meantime though, let’s not forget that very few blockbuster new release films go on Neon or Netflix when they are released on home media so it’s not like you’re being charged for something you’d get for free with our other big providers anyway (unless you rent a movie without first checking it isn’t on those services first). So sit back, relax and enjoy the new LIghtbox. Oh and don’t forget that you’ll need to update the Lightbox app on your devices to get the new content.