Redbox Instant by Verizon may be ready to launch publicly as early as Thursday.
Redbox Instant CEO Shawn Strickland told reporters in January that the service would launch publicly before the end of the first quarter. Earlier this week, a Redbox Instant spokesperson confirmed that this is still the case, but didn’t provide further details.
The joint venture between Verizon and Redbox launched its private beta test in December, offering subscribers Redbox rentals in addition to a Netflix-like streaming service with a focus on movies.
Like Netflix, the video service offers subscribers four DVD rentals and unlimited streaming of a number of titles for $8 a month. Unlike Netflix, Redbox’s catalog is significantly smaller, but the service hopes to make up for that by offering titles on DVD that aren’t available for streaming yet. Customers also have the option to supplement their subscription plan with “transactional video on demand titles,” also known as rentals.
Redbox Instant hasn’t registered on the public sphere yet, but both companies plan to market the service to their customers in the coming months. According to Strickland, up to 50 percent of all Redbox customers already subscribe to Netflix or similar services. The company is confident that it can steal some of those customers from its competitor.