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Verizon's Netflix Killer is Redbox Instant, Coming December

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 14 comments

Verizon's Netflix killer is currently in closed beta, and should launch at the beginning of December.

Eric Bruno, vice president of strategy and planning for consumer and mass business markets at Verizon Communications, told Bloomberg that Redbox Instant is currently being tested in the homes of around 500 Verizon employees. The streaming video service will initially focus solely on newer movies that have been made available for sale and rental.

Redbox Instant was announced earlier this year, offering movies that consumers can either rent and stream online, or purchase to download to a PC or mobile device. There will also be a subscription model that will include immediate access to physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs available in nearly 40,000 street corner kiosks managed by Coinstar.

"Verizon and Redbox Digital Entertainment Services, LCC was formed in February 2012 as a result of a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Redbox Automated Retail, LLC," reads the Redbox Instant website. "A new brand, Redbox Instant by Verizon, was created to offer U.S. consumers the best of both worlds, digitally and physically. The venture plans to introduce its unique product portfolio in the second half of 2012."

Bruno confirmed that customers will be able to download titles to mobile devices, game consoles and set-top boxes through an app that will be available on Google Play, Apple's App Store and other marketplaces. The actual launch date is expected to take place between late November and mid-December.

The new joint venture will pay content holders a little differently than Nexflix. The popular video streaming service typically pays a set amount for the streaming rights of movies and TV shows over a specific period of time, thus pushing Netflix to attract more subscribers. Coinstar and Verizon will instead pay content providers based on the number of subscribers, the same method traditional cable TV companies use.

Pricing is still unknown at this point, but Coinstar previously said that the venture will focus on "value" pricing. Netflix charges U.S. customers $7.99 per month for streaming movies and TV shows to gaming consoles, mobile devices, laptops, Smart TVs and set-top boxes. Amazon's subscription service is part of Amazon Prime which costs $79 per year. However Amazon shoppers can purchase digital movies and TV shows, and either download the content to a PC, or stream it to an authorized device without the need for a subscription.

The venture, 65-percent owned by Verizon, aims to "stand on its own against Netflix, against Amazon," Bruno said.


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  • 6 Hide
    burmese_dude , September 28, 2012 7:07 PM
    With our fantastic everything shat plan, you can watch 2 entire movies once a month on your tablet or phone. Isn't that exciting?
  • 0 Hide
    masterasia , September 28, 2012 7:16 PM
    Well, if it's $1 rentals just like Redbox, then I'm in. Netflix and Amazon just doesn't have the content that I want any more. Actually, you can find almost everything that Netflix has on Amazon and vice versa.

    Couple things I hate about's so unorganized and the App is only available on the iPad and their Kindle Fire, but I get free 2 day shipping and sometimes extra discount off Amazon stuff.

    Things I hate about Netflix.......content is boring now, but easy for kids to use.
  • 0 Hide
    ksharp25 , September 28, 2012 7:44 PM
    Standy for a firestorm if Verizon Wirless "exempts" streaming via this app because its not part of your data cap since it would reside on an "internal private IP" network BS that Time Warner and other paywall competitors are using as an excuse for TV Anywhere and similar offerings.
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    svdb , September 28, 2012 7:49 PM
    Err, Amazon instant streaming is available on PS3 and works nicely. Not just on ipad and kindle.
  • 0 Hide
    svdb , September 28, 2012 7:55 PM
    masterasiaThings I hate about Netflix.......content is boring now, but easy for kids to use.
    Yes, it feels like you have to be either older than about 30 or younger than 15 to find something of interest to you on Netflix. Fortunately I'm 41 and my kids are about 10 so Netflix is ideal for us. That combined with some PPV recent movies once in a while, and we're not watching regular TV at all anymore.
  • 1 Hide
    p3t3or , September 28, 2012 8:48 PM
    I like Redbox, but loath Verizon. I want to like this but I cannot bring myself to because of Verizon. If Verizon stays true to form, they will find a way to nickle and dime you to oblivion and I suspect that their prices will rise every year (if not more frequently than that).
  • 0 Hide
    andrewc513 , September 28, 2012 9:24 PM
    Ok, time out before everyone gets their panties in a wad. Verizon ≠ Verizon Wireless.
  • -2 Hide
    geof2001 , September 28, 2012 10:13 PM
    Get a Roku then you can do Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, pandora and many many many more.
  • 1 Hide
    thecolorblue , September 29, 2012 9:00 AM
    andrewc513Ok, time out before everyone gets their panties in a wad. Verizon ≠ Verizon Wireless.

    its the same parent company. their customer money-milking behavior will be the same.
    get a clue?
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , September 29, 2012 3:48 PM
    masterasiaWell, if it's $1 rentals just like Redbox, then I'm in.

    Ditto here, but I don't think that's in the cards because the movie industry won't allow it.

    It seems silly 'to me' after all these years of broadband that I either have to burn gas to pick-up a $1.20 to $1.50 (BluRay) at Redbox, or the shipping back and forth to Netflix. Eirther way it's such a waste and not 'click' convenient.

    Currently I use 'many of the above' - Neflix (DVD + Steaming), Redbox on occasion (late fees suck and I now own several Redbox DVD's), tried but don't like HULU (paying to watch commercials??; free fine), HBO/MAX/etc on demand (yeah I have FiOS/Verizon), and I've tried Amazon and a few others.

    Currently, the Verizon 'On Demand' service is very expensive at $5.99, and most of the time I'll either wait until Netflix or Redbox offers the DVD. Something great like Avenger's I'll buy.

    So from Verizon the only cost and convenience issue to me the the $5.99 vs $1.50 vs Netflix and they don't need a partnership with Redbox for that issue, the only substitute would be $1.50 On Demand and a $7.99/mo substitute for Netflix and an Unlimited Rental @ kiosk.

    Otherwise I think success will be a mixed-bag in their partnership.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , September 29, 2012 3:56 PM
    One more thing, Redbox selection is a fraction of what Netflix has to offer.

    If I were Netflix the solution is to offer all their movie content On Demand, or add Premium $1.00 -$1.50 SD/HD with new DVD's and eliminate the shipping. - Just a thought.
  • 0 Hide
    chewy1963 , September 29, 2012 4:21 PM
    geof2001Get a Roku then you can do Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, Hulu, pandora and many many many more.

    Or get a PC and you can do at least that many.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , October 1, 2012 12:57 PM
    if it means $ to big red... consider me out they will fins some way to f you over
  • 0 Hide
    wholemkt4 , October 2, 2012 6:15 AM


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