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Verizon’s attempt to compete with Netflix ends in hilarious failure

Published Oct 6th, 2014 8:20AM EDT
Verizon Redbox Instant Vs. Netflix

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Remember Redbox Instant, Verizon’s video streaming service that was created to compete with Netflix? Personally, we’d completely forgotten about it until this morning when we stumbled across a piece from Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin that reported Verizon is shutting down Redbox Instant after a year and a half of hilarious failure.

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Although Redbox Instant predictably didn’t attract many customers, what made its failure actually funny was the fact that it became a magnet for criminals. As GigaOM reported last month, “Redbox Instant’s website had been used by criminals to verify credit card numbers,” which led Verizon to stop accepting new signups for the service for three straight months. Thankfully, Verizon says that Redbox Instant customers’ payment information was never compromised, although that didn’t stop the company from stopping all new signups as a precaution.

Verizon says that Redbox Instant will be officially shut down on October 7th at 11:59 p.m. PT, which means any subscribers who want to binge watch movies have less than two days to get their fix. Verizon has apologized for any inconvenience that this will cause but says that Redbox Instant “had not been as successful as either partner hoped it would be.”

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.