Redbox Instant, the much hyped Netflix competitor anticipated by millions of folks tired of running to the kiosk at their local mini-mart will finally arrive at a computer or mobile screen near you. Redbox, owned by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Coinstar (NASDAQ: CSTR), promises a higher quality streaming selection than Netflix, freeing consumers form the constraints of Netflix’s somewhat limited streaming catalog.
Netflix has been criticized by some for having too many low quality films and a dearth of newer, first run movies. They do however, have a plethora of TV shows available, something which Redbox Instant says they will not, at least for now.
Verizon VP Eric Bruno explained that Redbox will focus on new releases to start, gaining a beachead on a territory where Netflix has had trouble recently. He also indicated the company is looking seriously at Amazon as a prime competitor, yet stopped short of disclosing any pricing information.
Expect Redbox Instant to appear on the normal streaming alternatives: Blu-Ray players, enabled TV sets, set top boxes, mobile devices, PCs, and game consoles. TiVO has also indicated they may be open to the service as well, after settling a $250 million DVR technology lawsuit with Verizon, resulting in the telcom giant giving TiVO a $100 million up front payment as part of the settlement.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Currently Redbox is testing the service in 500 Verizon employee’s homes, to work out the kinks before the service goes live in about 2 months.
Are you eagerly awaiting the new Redbox Instant Service, or is it just another “So What?”