Netflix has Competition: Redbox Instant by Verizon Could Launch Yet This Year

Back in February, we heard tell that Verizon was teaming up with Coinstar (maker of those Redbox DVD rental kiosks you see everywhere) to develop a streaming and physical media service not unlike Netflix. Now, it appears that the service--dubbed “Redbox Instant by Verizon”--is in the offing.

GigaOM uncovered some key details of the new service, including the fact that it’s still in private beta. After stumbling across Redbox Instant by Verizon’s beta Help page (the link to which has subsequently been removed from public view), GigaOM offered up some interesting details.

Redbox Instant for Verizon

For starters, the service will start at just $6 per month, which undercuts Netflix’s $7.99 streaming-only plan. For $8, actually, users can get streaming plus credits toward physical Redbox DVD rentals. VOD will be available for offline viewing starting at $0.99. Expect Redbox Instant to be available via the Web and on a slew of devices including iOS and Android devices, Xbox 360, and even some of Samsung’s TVs and Blu-ray players.

It also appears that Redbox Instant by Verizon could be available as early as December 17th, although the report seems to be inferring quite a bit, based on the evidence.

Bear in mind that these sorts of features and pricing structures can be changed significantly between the beta phase and its public debut (such as perhaps the clunky name), so take the above with a grain of salt. Still, it should be interesting to see how another streaming service--and one with a physical presence in and around brick-and-mortar stores--plays out against the likes of Netflix and Hulu.