Redbox, Verizon to Launch RedBox Instant Beta This Month

Back in February, Verizon and Redbox, best known for its physical rental kiosks, agreed on a joint venture to provide a streaming video service, Redbox Instant, that will aim to challenge Netflix. According to a report from TheNextWeb today, RedBox Instant will launch as a beta service some time this month with a free first month subscription, followed by an $8 monthly charge.  

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Following a deal struck today between Redbox Instant and US-based EPIX, the new service will be permitted to deliver movies 90 days after their premiere. These new releases will be offered on top of thousands of titles available through the service via agreements with content providers. 

Content from Redbox Instant will be available to users via electronic sell-though (EST) -- enabling downloads for offline viewing -- and VoD rental agreements with major studios such as Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, Relativity, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, according to the report. 

Coinstar, the parent company of Redbox, also recently acquired NCR, the company managing Blockbuster's Express kiosks, indicating that the move to streaming video will not come at the expense of physical rentals as the joint-venture with Verizon takes on Netflix. 

Notably, Redbox Instant can also be used without a subscription on a more occasional basis, with purchases, rentals, or reservations for pick-up at a local RedBox kiosk. 

With today's news of Apple testing television designs, the move by Verizon to partner with Redbox and major content providers on a streaming service shows that the industry is eager to absorb new platforms for media delivery before competitors such as Apple make in-roads. 

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