In February, Coinstar subsidiary Redbox announced a joint venture with Verizon to launch a streaming video service. Later this afternoon, we're told, the companies will provide a bit more insight into the partnership, though details of the service are still extremely limited.
Here's what will be revealed: The service will be launched in internal alpha testing today, followed by a beta program in the coming months before the streaming service goes live later this year. It will be branded Redbox Instant by Verizon; it will combine access to physical and digital content; and the JV will be led by newly appointed CEO Shawn Strickland, who previously worked as a vice president in Verizon's FiOS business. Such a set up indicates the partnership will rely mostly on Redbox's branding, which mimics competitors Netflix Instant and Amazon Instant, while taking advantage of Verizon's network infrastructure. "DVDs at the kiosk instant streaming hits, all in one fist-pumping package," teases a landing page, seen above, which is set to go live later today.
For consumers eager to have an alternative to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO Go, the news is bittersweet in its hurry-up-and-wait nature. Redbox Instant will be a subscription-based service, as executives at both Coinstar and Verizon have indicated, but the company will still not provide any insight into subscription rates, studio content, or how the physical and digital parts of the service will be combined.