Cord cutters will have yet another on-demand streaming service to add to their contract-free arsenal later this month. After what seems like an eternity of hemming, hawing, and whispers, Redbox Instant – a joint venture between Redbox and Verizon – is slated to launch in invite-only beta status by the end of the year.
The new Netflix competitor plans to dig at the entrenched competition with an enticing pricing scheme; eight bucks per month will net you unlimited streaming as well as four nights of mailed DVD rentals, while upping that to nine bucks per month turns those DVDs into high definition Blu-ray discs. Not interested in physical media? A disc-free streaming-only plan will set you back $6, AllThingsD reports. Video games aren’t including in the plans.
There is one or two catches, though.
Unlike Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix, Redbox Instant won’t offer on-demand TV shows. The service is “targeted squarely at movie lovers” CEO Shawn Strickland told the Associated Press. Out of the gate, the service will offer 5,500 movies from Warners Bros., Sony and Epix. Rather than focusing on esoteric indie films, Strickland went on to say that Redbox Instant offers movies that "really matter in the marketplace." By comparison, Netflix offer more than 60,000 streaming titles.
Device support will also be fairly limited out of the gate, with the AP reporting compatibility with select Blu-ray players and smart TVs, in addition to the obligatory web client. Crucially, video game consoles will not be supported. A large amount of streaming in the living room occurs through video game consoles, which have a much higher adoption and usage rate than alternative video streaming method. A year and a half ago – the most timely report we could find – Nielsen reported that half of all Netflix subscribers accessed the service through the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii.
There’s no word when Redbox Instant will ditch its beta status and open its doors to the public.
Via The Verge