Redbox, a subsidiary of the coin for cash exchange company Coinster (really?), has seemingly come out of nowhere to gain a foothold on the home video rental market. Well Netflix is still the bigger company (last time I checked, at least), Redbox is slowly creeping up their. In a world without Blockbuster, Redbox is definitely Netflix’s biggest competition.
But even though Redbox has the convenience of local rentals at relatively cheap prices, Netflix’s saving grace (and seemingly the thing that the company cares about the most) is there Instant Queue, which allows subscribers to watch any movie available on the queue instantly with the click of a button. Recently, companies like Blockbuster (lol) and Amazon have created instant services similiar to Netflix in hopes of gaining a foothold on the market. But none of them have really come close to the success of Netflix. At least…not yet.
Today, Redbox announced a partership with cell phone company Verizon Wireless to create a brand new instant streaming/subscription service. This didn’t exactly come out of nowhere; in fact, Redbox has been teasing this announcement for sometime. Well, if you want to call it an announcement. All it really is saying is that Redbox is making sometime of subscription service with Verizon. We know that Verizon will own about 65% of the project, well Coinster will take the other 35%. And…that’s pretty much it. We don’t know pricing, name, infrastructure, or any of that stuff. But once we do, you can bet you’ll find out! Here’s the press release:
NEW YORK – Verizon and Coinstar, Inc. today announced the formation of a joint venture that will create a new choice for quality- and value-conscious consumers seeking a simple and affordable way to access the video entertainment they crave. The venture’s services will offer all of the convenience, simplicity and value of Redbox® new release DVD and Blu-ray Disc® rentals combined with a new content-rich video on-demand streaming and download service from Verizon.
The joint venture plans to introduce the product portfolio in the second half of 2012. It will offer subscription services and more in an easy-to-use, flexible and affordable service that will allow all consumers across the U.S. to enjoy the new and popular entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the media and devices they prefer. Additional brand and product information will be revealed in the coming months.
“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,” said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets.
“Consumers rely on Redbox for the latest new release movies at a great value, and our joint venture with Verizon will enable us to bring them even more value by offering expanded content offerings and greater flexibility for how and when they enjoy entertainment,” said Paul Davis, chief executive officer of Coinstar, Inc. “This alliance is the result of a deliberate and strategic process to identify a partner who shares our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to consumers. We look forward to rolling out the shared benefits this venture will bring to consumers, retailers, and shareholders.”
This venture between Verizon and Redbox will create the kind of national multi-platform product that customers are demanding from video entertainment service providers. It will leverage Verizon’s industry-wide relationships with entertainment content providers, its advanced cloud computing technologies and state-of-the-art IP network infrastructure to distribute video on-demand content to its customers.
“The joint venture will combine the accessibility and value of Redbox with Verizon’s vision for a borderless lifestyle – where consumers easily accomplish what they want or need to do, on their terms, through the power of the network,” said Mudge. “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.”
By offering instantly available online and mobile content with immediate access to physical media through rental kiosks, Verizon and Redbox will be uniquely positioned to deliver the best of both worlds – digital and physical – to consumers across the country.
The joint venture is a limited liability company with Verizon holding a 65 percent ownership share and Redbox holding a 35 percent ownership share at the outset.
Redbox’s new service will launch sometime this fall.