July 24, 2012

Redbox Instant, Coming Soon To A Computer Near You

Lee Rannals for - Your Universe Online

Redbox jumped into the game in 2002, and effectively took on and helped conquer brick-and-mortar movie rental shops since expanding across the nation like a virus, and now the movie company wants to take on a new competitor, Netflix.

Redbox formally announced a joint venture with Verizon to provide a video streaming service called Redbox Instant, taking what was once just a kiosk DVD rental vending machine, and making it virtual.

The companies unveiled what executive team would be running the new service, including Verizon executive Shawn Strickland, who was president of Verizon's New York south/east region, and Redbox executive Amy Gibby, who will be the chief marketing officer.

"When you consider the core elements the parties bring to this venture — our powerful brands; our national rental kiosk footprint; our anytime, anywhere network presence; and our mutual commitment to customer-focused innovation — it´s clear that Verizon and Redbox are a powerful entertainment team," Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets, said in a press release.

Strickland will be acting as CEO of Redbox Instant, overseeing the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the company.

A representative for Redbox said the alpha testing of the new service is underway, and is "internal and invitation-only."

Very little details were given about the joint venture from the announcement, lacking both pricing details and availability.

The partnership between Verizon and Redbox was first announced back in February, but today they officially launched the name of the streaming service, and just gave details about the staff that will be supporting it.

"All consumers have immediate access to new-release DVD and Blu-ray Disc® movie rentals through more than 36,800 Redbox kiosks nationwide and can instantly view popular entertainment content anywhere, anytime, using the devices they prefer with a Redbox Instant by Verizon subscription and video on-demand streaming service," the Redbox Instant website reads.

The language used in this posting could suggest that subscription customers will also have ties to the existing Redbox Kiosk, possibly even suggesting that there may be some pricing structure that would include both streaming rentals, and physical rentals at the kiosks.

On the front-page of Redbox Instant's website, the bottom teaser says "DVDs at the Kiosks plus Instant streaming hits, all in one fist-pumping package."

The companies said that they plan to introduce its unique product portfolio in the second half of 2012.

"Together, we are erasing old technology boundaries, freeing people to spontaneously enjoy the entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the devices and media they prefer, at home or away," Mudge said in the release.