NEW YORK CITY -- Redbox Instant by Verizon, the much-anticipated video-streaming service that's going head to head with Netflix, has begun selling subscriptions through a beta test. The service is expected to launch to the public in early 2013.
The service will also be available without a subscription, allowing customers to rent or purchase new releases, or reserve movies for pickup at any of more than 42,000 Redbox DVD-rental kiosks nationwide.
Not long after Redbox supplanted the video rental store, downloading and streaming began to threaten its core business of renting physical DVDs and games from self-service kiosks. To counter that pressure, Coinstar Inc., Redbox Automated Retail LLC's parent, and Verizon Communications Inc. announced the joint venture in February. | SEE STORY
Redbox Instant will cost $8 a month, the same as Netflix, for unlimited movie streaming, plus four one-night DVD rentals from Redbox kiosks. For $9 a month, customers can rent high-definition Blu-ray instead of traditional DVDs.
Consumers who sign up to participate in the beta test get their first month free.
Users will be able to stream the films to many Internet-connected TVs, phones and tablets, including iOS, Android, Samsung, LG and Google TV devices. That range will expand in the coming months.
Redbox Instant subscribers will have access to movies from Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment and MGM through a deal with the Epix premium cable channel, as well as films from Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. These include recent hits such as "The Hunger Games," and Tom Cruise action sequel, "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol."