Redbox and Verizon join forces to take on Netflix

By on February 6, 2012, 1:00 PM

Coinstar’s Redbox and Verizon Wireless have ended months of speculation that suggested the two would join forces to compete with Netflix. The duo put out a press release announcing the joint venture that combines new release DVDs and Blu-ray discs from Redbox with video on-demand streaming and download services from Verizon.

The press release is a bit short on details but we are told to expect a product portfolio in the second half of 2012. The subscription service is designed to make the process of watching what you want flexible and affordable using your preferred device.

Unlike Dish Network’s Blockbuster Movie Pass, the venture isn’t exclusive to Verizon customers. Blockbuster Movie Pass requires a subscription to a Dish Network satellite television package and isn’t available separately.

It remains to be seen if the new service will be able to ink licensing deals with big media companies regarding DVD rentals. As All Things D points out, media companies have clashed with Netflix in court and most recently, Redbox has said they won’t work with Warner Bros.’ new 56-day DVD rental window.

Netflix suffered an embarrassing 2011 when the company raised rates, split their services into two entities, renamed the DVD-by-mail service to Qwikster then reneged on that decision. Since then, however, the streaming video giant has regained nearly all of the 800,000 subscribers that left the service last summer.

From the outset, Verizon will hold a 65 percent ownership share in the LLC with Redbox holding the remaining 35 percent stake. Neither company announced pricing or other details; those are expected sometime later this year.

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