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Redbox Instant prepares to take on Netflix with unlimited movie streaming service

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Redbox Instant
Redbox Instant

Movie rental kiosk service Redbox has been planning to partner with Verizon and break into the video streaming market for months, but now the new Netflix competitor is finally rolling out. Redbox Instant by Verizon is planned to launch later this month as an invite-only service, according to a report by the Associated Press. Eight dollars per month will get you unlimited streaming as well as four nights of physical DVD rentals, while nine dollars will get your four nights of Blu-ray rentals instead. According to All Things D, Redbox will also offer unlimited streaming with no discs for six dollars per month, two less than competing options from Netflix and Hulu.

While there's no doubt that customers will consider Redbox Instant as an alternative to Netflix, there's one major missing feature here — Redbox won't offer any TV shows at launch. Shawn Strickland, the chief executive of the new project, told the AP that the service was "targeted squarely at movie lovers," and would offer a more limited movie catalog than Netflix at first with a focus on popular Hollywood fare — movies that "really matter in the marketplace." While it sounds like Redbox will have a more concentrated, mainstream catalog, its partnership with Epix and Warner Bros. should ensure that there's some quality content available when the service launches. Unfortunately, there's no word on when Redbox Instant will move out of its invite-only phase and be widely available to the general public.

Update: While All Things D still claims that Redbox Instant will include a $6 streaming-only option, the official press release says that plans will start at the $8 level with the four nights of DVD rental included. The release also details some of Redbox's device strategy — apps will be available for Android and iOS, of course. Samsung and LG's lineup of smart TVs and Blu-Ray players will also feature the app, as well as Google TV devices. More devices will be announced "in the coming months."