Services & Software

Redbox Instant launches video streaming to the public

Officially out of private beta, the new movie streaming service is available to all.

Redbox Instant has made good on its promise to open its doors to the general public by spring. The video streaming service publicly launched in the U.S. today.

The new service is a joint venture between Verizon and Redbox that was first announced in February 2012. Redbox Instant will give new users unlimited streaming and four DVD credits for free for one month, according to the Web site. Once the month-long trial ends, the service will cost $8 per month.

Redbox Instant was rolled out in private beta in December, letting first-time users sign up for the service. It's available on a variety of operating systems and devices, such as Android, iOS, Xbox 360, some Samsung TVs, and Blu-ray players.

The service is undercutting rival Netflix's monthly rates by charging just $6 a month for unlimited streaming -- $2 less than Netflix's comparable offer. If users want the four-DVD plan also, it costs $8 a month. A plan that includes Blu-Ray discs costs $9 a month.

While the service is more affordable than Netflix's offering, Redbox Instant won't have the same access to movies and shows. The service currently offers users access to 4,600 subscription titles from a content agreement it has with Epix, which operates Viacom, Lionsgate, and MGM, along with other studios -- but it will still fall short of the breadth of offerings that Netflix boasts.

Redbox Instant CEO Shawn Strickland, a former Verizon executive, said at CES in January that the new service would not compete against Netflix. He said his service would offer up new and some older movies -- and only movies. There's a segment of consumers who are hungry for nothing but a film experience, he said.