Verizon-Redbox takes on Netflix with lower, $6 per month price

Verizon-Redbox's streaming-only option is $2 lower than Netflix's comparable service. For now it's a limited trial, with an official launch expected next year.

Redbox

Redbox said the streaming portion of its Redbox Instant video service, offered in a partnership with Verizon, will cost $6 a month, undercutting key rival Netflix.

The company's primary offering is an $8 a month plan that includes the unlimited video streaming and four one-night credits for DVDs at local kiosks. A plan that includes Blu-Ray discs costs $9 a month, according to a representative for Redbox.

But by pricing its streaming-only service at $6 -- $2 less than Netflix's comparable offer -- RedBox Instant looks to be getting aggressive in taking a chunk out of the paid video-streaming business.

RedBox is taking customers for only a limited trial later in December, with a launch expected next year. Anyone interested in signing up for the beta program can go here. Redbox didn't say how many people would be taken in the first trial.

For RedBox, the service marks an expansion into the online video world after seeing success with kiosks littered throughout supermarkets and other retail stores across the country.

Redbox/Verizon

Verizon, meanwhile, sees Redbox Instant as its own way of getting into the "over-the-top" world of online video. The company sees it as a compliment to its own FiOS pay-TV service, which works under the typical cable-television model. The telco and its executives have shown more of an openness to online video services than their peers in the cable-TV industry, and have warned that consumers will eventually start to cut the cable cord.

While the service is more affordable than Netflix's offering, Redbox Instant won't have the same access to movies and shows. It has an agreement to get content from Epix, as well as studios such as Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM, but it will still fall short of the breadth of offerings that Netflix boasts.

Still, Redbox Instant should make for a worthy competitor in a field that now has several big players, including Amazon and Hulu.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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