Redbox Instant, the video-streaming service from Verizon and Coinstar, has been made available to select users thanks to a private beta version of the platform that was released this week. Offering beta subscribers unlimited streaming and four DVD credits for one month, the service will be free for a one-month trial period, after which it will cost $8 per month.
The service is currently invite-only, as those interested must sign up on the Redbox Instant website to be placed on a wait list for the chance to receive an early access code. The news was announced via Twitter, with the company publicizing that they are "gradually rolling out access to" the streaming service.
Coupled with the release of the beta site was the launch of a Redbox Instant app for iOS and Android, which will let users browse through an array of video content by categories, after signing in with their access codes. Similar to the Netflix app, the Redbox Instant application will also allow users to bookmark selections to watch at a later time.
While earlier rumors hinted that the service would be fully available before the end of the year, it seems only the beta version will be accessible by then, with the new public launch date for Redbox Instant expected to be around the end of 1Q13. Despite this flawed fact, the previously published information regarding the streaming service, which was uncovered from a "help" section posted mistakenly on Redboxinstant.com, seems to match up nicely with the official details now available.
Once public, Redbox Instant will offer three tiers of service, with simple unlimited streaming costing $6 per month, unlimited streaming plus four DVD credits for any of Redbox's kiosks priced at $8 a month and a plan that includes Blu-Ray discs set at $9 for each month.
With prices that undercut Netflix's monthly rates, Redbox Instant is certainly more economically appealing, yet it remains to be seen if its library of movies and shows will prove worthy of a rival for the popular streaming service.
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