Will Verizon RedBox Instant Be Netflix's Biggest Rival?

Netflix will get some new competition from Verizon Communications Inc. and RedBox Automated Retail, LLC this year. Both companies have teamed up to provide consumers with a new video streaming service called RedBox Instant, expected to be released in full format before the end of March.

The release date was officially announced during CES 2013 earlier this month by Verizon CEO Shawn Strickland .The service will allow RedBox's video catalog to be visible to existing Verizon FIOS customers and will offer not only movie rentals, but also video game rentals. Already pretty well established on the DVD rental market, RedBox has 42,600 convenient and visible kiosks available at stores like Duane Reade, Walgreens and CVS.

Online video streaming has been dominated for quite some time now by Netflix, which has held the title for the world's largest video-subscription service. Netflix has 23 million subscribers to date, surpassing that of Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. RedBox Instant is currently in beta testing form and just like Netflix, will give customers the option to choose from video streaming and physical DVDs. The video service will be available on iPhones, Android smartphones, Xbox 360 and smart TV platforms like Google TV, LG smart TVs and Samsung TV and Blu-ray players.

It's rather difficult at this time to determine if RedBox Instant be a "Netflix killer", as the product is currently being beta tested among a small number of users. One variable that may come into play is content availability, as Netflix, being on the scene for a while has a huge catalog of 250,000 movies for subscribers to choose from. The overall advantage that Redbox Instant may have could remain in their already pre-existing Redbox kiosks, the fact they will offer video games and of course, Verizon's stellar marketing tactics.

RedBox Instant is pulling out all the stops by even selling tickets to live events like NASCAR and the Ringling Bros. Circus.

 Photo Credit: Reuters

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