Redbox Instant to take on Netflix, but won't include TV shows

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Although Redbox Instant has been billed as a rival to Netflix, it'll be a much different kind of streaming video service, according to new details.

Redbox Instant by Verizon, as it's officially called, will be “targeted squarely at movie lovers,” Shawn Strickland, the chief executive of the service, told the Associated Press. It'll have about 5500 streaming movies at launch, but no TV shows.

That's a big difference compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Videos, which both rely heavily on TV shows to fill out their catalogs. For TV junkies who use those services to binge on serial dramas like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” Redbox Instant's focus on movies may be a deal-breaker.

Verizon and Redbox parent company Coinstar hope to make up for it by offering more popular movies, with content coming from Warner Bros., Epix, MGM and Lionsgate. For instance, Redbox Instant will offer The Hunger Games, a film that hit theaters last March, for instant streaming.

Subscribers to the service, which costs $8 per month, will also be able to rent four nights’ worth of DVDs from Redbox kiosks—normally $1.20 per night—at no extra charge. An option to rent Blu-ray discs, which normally cost $1.50 per night, will cost $9 per month.

Contrary to an earlier report, Strickland didn't say anything about a $6 option that excludes DVD rentals. Also, the service won't be available on game consoles at first, but will be available on computers as well as certain connected Blu-ray players and televisions. The AP's report doesn't say anything about iOS or Android apps.

Redbox Instant was rumored to launch on December 17, but the AP says that it will only launch by the end of the year on an invitation-only basis. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has said that Redbox Instant will be broadly available in the late first quarter or early second quarter of 2013.

This story, "Redbox Instant to take on Netflix, but won't include TV shows" was originally published by PCWorld.

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