Verizon and Redbox have announced plans to take on Netflix, with an on-demand video streaming service set to launch in the second half of 2012. The as-yet-unnamed service will accompany Redbox’s existing DVD and Blu-ray rental kiosks, with subscription services “and more” for streamed video using Verizon’s on-demand and download system.
Exactly what content will be available to stream is unclear; currently content owners prefer traditional DVD and Blu-ray rentals and sales for newer media, leaving subscription-based streaming to pick up movies and TV shows later on in the lifecycle. Verizon and Redbox describe the IPTV aspect as including “expanded content offerings” suggesting back catalog shows and older films, though that’s not yet confirmed.
Still, with Verizon involved, streaming direct to phones and tablets looks like a given. Whether the carrier will also release mobile apps for devices on other networks is a good question; not doing so might encourage would-be streaming subscribers to also ink an agreement on Verizon’s network for their next phone or tablet, but it could also work to limit its appeal.
Verizon will own 65-percent of the new venture, with Redbox picking up the remaining 35-percent. The two companies say they’ll announce more pricing details, as well as branding, closer to the point of launch, which is in the second half of the year.