Back in February of last year, hints and rumors started appearing that Redbox might team up with Verizon to offer a streaming video business that would compete with Netflix’s own streaming video empire.
That rumor finally came to fruition in December, when Redbox and Verizon debuted the new Redbox Instant, a streaming service that opened immediately for beta sign ups.
New reports have surfaced, putting a date on the service’s official launch. Redbox Instant by Verizon CEO Shawn Strickland told journalists at CES 2013 that it will launch before the end of the first quarter.”
“We’re doing the invitation-based beta now … but we will launch sometime later this quarter,” he said. “Movies are the core of the Redbox brand and movies are underserved in this space.”
Currently, Redbox Instant has a library of 7,500 streaming and physical films for beta users. 4,500 of those are streaming titles, but Strickland also mentioned that additional films were being added on a daily basis.
Redbox Instant will cost users $8 per month, which is line with other streaming offerings from companies like Netflix and Hulu. For $8, customers will get unlimited access to streaming movies and four Redbox DVD credits to use at one of the Redbox kiosks. An additional dollar per month upgrades DVD credits to Blu-ray credits.
The service will offer movies from partners like EPIX, providing more current releases than competitor Netflix. New releases will be available 90 days after they premiere in the “traditional premium window,” which means titles like The Hunger Games are already available to watch.
Unlike Netflix, however, Redbox plans to focus solely on movies. The service will not offer any TV shows at launch, a fact that was again confirmed by Shawn Strickland this morning. He did say, however, that TV shows are a possibility for the future.
Currently, Redbox Instant is in beta. You can sign up to get on the waiting list for a beta invitation by visiting the website and entering your email address.