Verizon CEO: Redbox Instant Delayed to 20134 Dec, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel, Chris Tribbey
Redbox Instant by Verizon likely won’t launch until spring 2013, marking another delay for the anticipated subscription VOD and kiosk rental service joint venture between the two companies.
Verizon CEO and chairman Lowell McAdam made the announcement Dec. 4, while speaking at the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference.
He said the service, which aims to compete with Netflix and Blockbuster, is currently in beta testing among Verizon employees, and a public beta launch could come by the end of the year or beginning of January.
“[We’re] very pleased with the progress, and I think later this month or the beginning of January we’ll open it up to customers, but in a beta sort of format, so we can shake out any of the kinks that are left in the process,” he said. “We’re cautiously optimistic [about its potential], but [you don’t know] until you’re out in the market for six months or so.”
The service had been slated to launch this past summer, and then by the end of the year. In late November there had been indications that the service would launch Dec. 17, after beta tests were leaked online.
Those tests indicated a streaming-only plan would start at $6 monthly, $8 for streaming with four rental discs per month. Rental discs could be reserved online and picked up at kiosks.
Redbox Instant will also offer electronic and transactional VOD options. Digital rentals would be priced as low as 99 cents for catalog titles. The service would available on iOS and Android devices, Xbox 360 and some connected Blu-ray Disc players.