At first it was a rumor, but now it is actually true. Redbox, the popular movie/video game rental service, and Verizon, the largest cell network in the US, are teaming up to bring "the best of both worlds" a service that will offer both physical media and streaming content for subscribers. Details are slim at this point but the supposed "Project Zoetrope" will offer DVD and Blu-ray media in addition to on-demand streaming plus downloadable content. The Netflix-like service will launch some time in the second half of this year. While "multi-platform" support for "devices" is mentioned, it's not stated whether any of those will be non-Verizon. Verizon has claimed though that it will "erase all technological boundaries". Not sure about this, but I'll have to wait and see later on this year.
And below is a nice press release.
Verizon and Coinstar's Redbox Form Joint Venture to Create New Consumer Choice for Video Entertainment
Joint Venture Will Offer the Best of Both Worlds - Physical and Digital - to All Consumers Nationwide
NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon and Coinstar, Inc. today announced the formation of a joint venture that will create a new choice for quality- and value-conscious consumers seeking a simple and affordable way to access the video entertainment they crave. The venture's services will offer all of the convenience, simplicity and value of Redbox® new release DVD and Blu-ray Disc® rentals combined with a new content-rich video on-demand streaming and download service from Verizon.
The joint venture plans to introduce the product portfolio in the second half of 2012. It will offer subscription services and more in an easy-to-use, flexible and affordable service that will allow all consumers across the U.S. to enjoy the new and popular entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the media and devices they prefer. Additional brand and product information will be revealed in the coming months.
"When you consider the core elements the parties bring to this venture – our powerful brands; our national rental kiosk footprint; our anytime, anywhere network presence; and our mutual commitment to customer-focused innovation – it's clear that Verizon and Redbox are a powerful entertainment team," said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets.
"Consumers rely on Redbox for the latest new release movies at a great value, and our joint venture with Verizon will enable us to bring them even more value by offering expanded content offerings and greater flexibility for how and when they enjoy entertainment," said Paul Davis, chief executive officer of Coinstar, Inc. "This alliance is the result of a deliberate and strategic process to identify a partner who shares our commitment to delivering innovative solutions to consumers. We look forward to rolling out the shared benefits this venture will bring to consumers, retailers, and shareholders."
This venture between Verizon and Redbox will create the kind of national multi-platform product that customers are demanding from video entertainment service providers. It will leverage Verizon's industry-wide relationships with entertainment content providers, its advanced cloud computing technologies and state-of-the-art IP network infrastructure to distribute video on-demand content to its customers.
"The joint venture will combine the accessibility and value of Redbox with Verizon's vision for a borderless lifestyle – where consumers easily accomplish what they want or need to do, on their terms, through the power of the network," said Mudge. "Together, we are erasing old technology boundaries, freeing people to spontaneously enjoy the entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the devices and media they prefer, at home or away."
By offering instantly available online and mobile content with immediate access to physical media through rental kiosks, Verizon and Redbox will be uniquely positioned to deliver the best of both worlds – digital and physical – to consumers across the country.
The joint venture is a limited liability company with Verizon holding a 65 percent ownership share and Redbox holding a 35 percent ownership share at the outset.