The Tech News Blog

October 4, 2014

Redbox Instant Shutting Down Oct. 7

Verizon Redbox Instant Google TVNetflix has bested another one. The streaming service from Redbox and Verizon, Redbox Instant, is officially throwing in the towel.

Those who subscribe to the $6-per-month service received an email today informing them of the pending shutdown. Redbox Instant also updated its website with brand-new "goodbye" language.

"Thank you for being a part of Redbox Instant by Verizon. Please be aware that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Information on applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers and posted here on October 10," reads the new message.

"In the meantime, you may continue to stream movies and use your Redbox kiosk credits until Tuesday, October 7 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for the opportunity to entertain you."

While it's hard to say just how long the shutdown was in the works, Gigaom noted that Redbox Instant's recent credit card troubles—specifically, credit card fraud—didn't much help the service. Not only have new customers been unable to sign up for the past three months, but existing customers have been unable to update their payment information. In other words, anyone with an expired credit card was simply booted off the service—not the most ideal of business plans.

March 15, 2013

Redbox Instant Streaming Opens in Public Beta

Redbox Instant by Verizon

Verizon today launched the public beta version of its Redbox Instant movie service, throwing its hat into the movie streaming ring to take on rival heavyweights Netflix and Amazon.

The service provides four one-night DVD rentals and unlimited video streaming for an $8 monthly subscription fee. A Blu-ray option will be available for $1 extra per month.

A private beta version of the Verizon-backed service rolled out to a select few users in December, but initial plans for the joint venture reach back to February 2012. "Verizon is embracing streaming, a platform that many view as a disruptive force in our industry, as a great opportunity for innovation and leadership," Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets, said at the time.

In July, the cable provider and Coinstar owner jointly revealed the beginnings of the Redbox Instant alpha testing.

November 30, 2012

Details Leak About Verizon-Backed Redbox Instant

Redbox Instant by Verizon

Verizon and Redbox have been testing their forthcoming joint video service for several months, but they have yet to announce specific details about what the service will entail.

Yesterday, however, GigaOm discovered a lengthy "help" section on that was apparently posted in error. It has since been pulled down, but GigaOm managed to uncover some details before it became unavailable.

Those details included subscription prices, which will start at $6 per month for unlimited access to the companies' streaming video catalogue - slightly less expensive than the $7.99 charged by expected rival Netflix. An $8 per month membership for Redbox Instant will give users four rentals per month from a nearby Redbox DVD kiosk; they don't roll over, GigaOm said. For new releases, the joint venture will offer on-demand rentals that start at $0.99.

Poking around the available devices, GigaOm found that the service will be available on the Web, Android, iOS, the Xbox 360, and some Samsung connected TVs and Blu-ray players. You'll be limited to five devices per account, though.

February 25, 2012

Free Game Rentals at Redbox Next Week


Coinstar's Redbox kiosks are set to hold "game night" next week, with a free one-night game rental.

To take advantage of the offer, customers need to visit the Redbox site between Feb. 26 and Mar. 1 and reserve a game online.

The process goes as follows: on the site, Redbox lists the games that it offers for the Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Wii, and the Sony PlayStation 3. The Redbox inventory is strictly limited; you won't find much more than AAA titles listed among the offerings, which include Super Mario Bros. Wii, Soul Calibur 5, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield, 3, ansd Skyrim, among others.

After a user clicks on a title, Redbox then asks you to enter your ZIP code to find a list of kiosks that stock the game near you. After you've selected one, you'll need to log in or otherwise provide payment information; although the first night's rental is free, if you hold the game for more than 24 hours, a normal $2 daily rental fee applies. last year, Redbox increased its rental fees from a $1 daily rate to the current rates.

(If you reserve a movie or game tonight and pick it up tomorrow night, Redbox will also charge you for a day's rental, plus the day you spend watching the movie or playing the game.)

February 6, 2012

Verizon, Redbox Go After Netflix With New Video Service

One day after Netflix unveiled its first original series, Verizon and Redbox owner Coinstar announced plans to launch their own joint venture, which will offer DVD rentals and streaming video.

The service will launch in the second half of the year, and it will combine Redbox DVD and Blu-ray rentals with an on-demand streaming and download service from Verizon. Due to "competitive concerns," however, Verizon and Coinstar declined to provide details on exactly what they will offer or how much it will cost, and did not take questions during a Monday morning conference call.

"Verizon is embracing streaming, a platform that many view as a disruptive force in our industry, as a great opportunity for innovation and leadership," Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets, said during the call. "By teaming with Redbox, we deliver the kind of consumer-empowering service that customers expect from companies like ours."

Redbox has DVD kiosks in supermarkets, drug stores, and other locations nationwide. Customers can reserve movies or games on their computers or smartphones, pick them up from a nearby location, and return them when finished. According to an NPD survey from last month, Redbox is now the most popular source of DVD and Blu-ray disc rentals.