Redbox Instant by Verizon goes public beta
December 13, 2012
By Colin Mann
After a fortnight of ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ speculation as to whether the anticipated pre-Christmas launch of the Redbox Instant by Verizon online entertainment joint venture formed between US telco Verizon and retail solutions specialist Coinstar would actually take place and move out of private beta testing, the pair have unveiled details of the disc and digital movie service, as well as revealing a host of content deals. The service will provide additional competition for Netflix
Later in December, the Redbox Instant by Verizon beta product will launch to consumers. Priced at $8.00 per month, Redbox Instant by Verizon offers a high value subscription package that combines unlimited streaming of thousands of popular movies, including titles from premium network EPIX, with four one-night credits per month for the latest movie releases on DVD at Redbox kiosks. For $1 more, or $9.00 per month, customers can opt to redeem their four credits for rentals on Blu-ray Disc at the kiosk.
By combining both disc and digital movie formats, the service says its subscriptions offer consumers access to Hollywood’s newest releases, as well as a rich catalogue of popular movies, all for a great price. Customers can also use Redbox Instant by Verizon without a subscription and select new releases available for purchase or rental, or simply reserve for pick up at their local Redbox kiosk location, giving movie-lovers more choice and flexibility in how they watch their favourite films.
“We are building a compelling entertainment choice through our ability to support both physical and digital distribution of movies that people love, made possible by the depth of relationships we’ve established with top Hollywood studios and distribution partners,” said Shawn Strickland, CEO, Redbox Instant by Verizon.
Through an agreement with EPIX, Redbox Instant by Verizon’s subscription customers will be able instantly to stream new releases such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Hunger Games from EPIX’s studio partners, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Lionsgate, and MGM, 90 days after they première in the traditional premium window.
“Redbox Instant by Verizon will be an exciting new service for consumers in the digital entertainment marketplace and we are thrilled to be their partner, providing our movies from some of the world’s leading studios,” said Mark Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX. “We have a long and successful relationship with Verizon FiOS, which was our first distribution partner at the launch of EPIX, and we are excited to build on that relationship with Redbox Instant. We are confident that the movies we have will be a popular and important part of the success of this new service.”
Movie content on Redbox Instant by Verizon will be bolstered by electronic sell-through (EST) and video-on-demand (VOD) rental agreements with major studios. New releases from Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Relativity and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be available in EST and VOD formats and will allow Redbox Instant by Verizon to support and provide multi-screen access to movies.
Avail TVN, the leading multi-platform video services provider, will deliver subscription and transactional studio content. Redbox Instant by Verizon also previously announced a content licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
At launch, Redbox Instant by Verizon will be offered via the web, as well as through home entertainment, tablet and mobile devices, including OS, Android, Samsung Blu-ray Players and TVs with SmartHub, LG Smart TV and Blu-ray Players, and Google TV. More devices will be announced in the coming months.
“Samsung’s connected customers are very hungry for new services that provide the best movies on multiple devices,” said Eric Anderson, Vice President of Content and Product Solutions, Samsung Electronics America. “Redbox Instant by Verizon provides our customers with the latest in Hollywood entertainment choice, control and discovery.”
The JV partners say that Redbox’s 10 years of offering customers the newest releases at great value, coupled with Verizon’s leadership in On-Demand and Digital Distribution of movies, has set the foundation for how Redbox Instant by Verizon will deliver content and value to the consumer. Redbox Instant by Verizon is working with movie studios to secure the freshest content selection, and intends to tap heavily into pop culture events and social conversations to help influence and surface relevant movie titles to consumers.
Starting later this month, Redbox Instant by Verizon will open to public beta and consumers will be invited to explore the service and enjoy their first subscription month free. The service says that “thousands of movie fans” have already signed up at RedboxInstant.com to be among the first to try the service.