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Redbox Instant signs Epix, details launch plans

December 12, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Redbox will launch its online subscription service, including four disc rentals per month, in public beta later this month.
Redbox will launch its online subscription service, including four disc… (George Frey / Getty Images )

Redbox Instant by Verizon will debut by the end of the year with four DVD rentals a month and a small library of streaming movies for the same fee as Netflix.

The launch plans for the subscription video joint venture between the kiosk rental company and the telecom giant were detailed for the first time Wednesday, including a price of $8 per month. The service will debut in public beta later this month, the company said, missing its previously stated goal to be completely available by the end of 2012.

Redbox Instant is now expected to come out of public beta in early 2013.

Most of the movies that subscribers will be able to stream on a variety of digital devices will come from Epix, the pay cable channel that offers product from Paramount Pictures ("Jack Reacher"), Lionsgate ("The Hunger Games") and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ("Skyfall").

Redbox Instant also has streaming rights to library titles from Warner Bros. However, it does not have older movies from other major studios, such as Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, or any television shows. That makes its streaming offering much smaller than competitors Netflix and Amazon Prime, which also offer films from Epix.

The new service's one key advantage, however, is the four kiosk rentals per month included in the price. That will make it the only subscription movie plan offering movies at the same time they come out on DVD, giving its users access to newer titles than those who use Netflix and Amazon Prime.

For $9 a month, subscribers can get Blu-ray versions of their four kiosk rentals.

In addition, Redbox Instant will let users rent or purchase movies online for which it doesn't have streaming rights at similar prices to those offered on iTunes. Its video-on-demand and electronic-sell-through offering includes films from Lionsgate, Paramount, Relativity Media, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., but not Fox or Walt Disney Studios.

Verizon owns 65% of the joint venture; Redbox owns 35%.

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