Movie rental kiosk operator Redbox, in partnership with Verizon, will go toe-to-toe with Netflix (NFLX) by the end of the year, according to the Associated Press. Redbox Instant by Verizon (VZ) is said to launch later this month and will offer an unlimited video streaming plan that include titles from Warner Bros. and movie channel Epix, along with four nights of physical DVD rentals, for $8 per month, or $9 for Blu-ray discs. Earlier reports suggested the starting price would be as low as $6 per month. A comparable Netflix plan starts at $16 for both streaming and physical rentals, however RedBox Instant does have its shortcomings.
The service will not initially include access to TV shows or game rentals and will have a library of only 5,500 movies compared to Netflix’s 60,000 titles. It will also initially only be available on the Web and through select Blu-ray players and Smart TVs. Netflix, on the other hand, can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, computers, TVs, Blu-ray players and video game consoles.
Shawn Strickland, the chief executive of the joint venture, said the new service is “targeted squarely at movie lovers” and that a majority of consumers are only interested in the most popular recent Hollywood films, which the executive labeled as the movies that “really matter in the marketplace.”
Redbox Instant by Verizon will launch as an invitation-only beta before the end of the year, presumably on or around December 17th.