In a press release today, Verizon and Coinstar, Inc (owner of Redbox) have announced plans for a new video on-demand streaming and download service to debut sometime in the second half of the year. This new venture (whose name has yet to be revealed) will offer customers nationwide a service that will give them both a physical and digital option for watching movies thus challenging Netflix and other online video providers in this market.
Similar to Netflix, the company will offer customers the option of watching a movie via a DVD/Blu-ray disc or stream it online. It will also be subscription based like Netflix, but instead of retrieving and returning movies via mail, customers can just head to a Redbox kiosk near them.
In an interview with The Wrap, Paul Davis, chief executive officer of Coinstar, Inc., explains, “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 and greater flexibility for how and when they enjoy entertainment.”
It’s not clear if this new company has first content deals in place with studios, but the news does come a month after some studios, like Warner Bros., have tried to limit Redbox’s access to new releases by trying to make them agree to wait 56 days from when the movies go on sale in stores. Redbox has said they will ignore this delay and buy discs from a third-party distributor.
“Our customers want more access to our service and by partnering with Verizon we’ll be able to give that to them,” Galen Smith, senior vice president of finance at Redbox, has said. Eric Bruno, vice president of product management at Verizon Telcom added, “We are extremely confident that when we go to market, we will do so with a broad array of titles.”
Although no specifics were given in the release, both companies have said that more details will be released soon as well as this new company’s name. One thing both parties can guarantee upon according to Bruno, is “that it’s not going to be called Qwikster.”