Based on some recent executives moves, it looks like Verizon is getting closer to launching a new video-streaming service called Redbox Instant, which it is developing with Coinstar's Redbox video kiosk division. The service is now being alpha-tested internally, the company announced today.
The two companies haven't yet disclosed what content will be available via Redbox Instant, how it will be priced, or whether it will be a subscription-based or pay-per-view service. But it's likely that Redbox Instant, like Netflix, will combine movies and TV shows streamed over the Internet with a disc-rental business, probably using the
6,200 30,000-plus Redbox kiosks located in shopping malls and other heavily-trafficked retail locations around the country. The service is expected to arrive later this year.
When we first covered the deal back in February, a joint press release said the venture would "offer subscription services and more" in an "easy-to-use, flexible and affordable service" that allowed its customers to use "the media and devices they prefer." Based on the company's new Redbox Instant landing page, it looks like both discs and streaming will be combined as a single hybrid package, presumably at a lower price that the new Netflix plans.
We'll have a comprehensive report on streaming-video services and devices soon at ConsumerReports.org.
—James K. Willcox