Redbox Instant will be available to everyone in the U.S. by the end of the first quarter, according to a statement from CEO Shawn Strickland today at CES.
After a long wait, Redbox Instant by Verizon finally launched in beta last month. It’s a gradual rollout, and as of right now you still need an invitation to be able to join.
The service costs $8 a month, and gives subscribers access to a library of 4,500 films. Film, specifically, as the service doesn’t yet offer any TV shows.
Of course, Redbox Instant will be competing with other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. As you would expect from any brand new streaming service, it’s starting off kind of slow. That is, the selection is not quite on par with its competitors. A recent analysis showed that out of the “first 50” titles streaming on Redbox Instant, 40 are available on Netflix too. Redbox Instant will continues to add titles leading up to its public launch, but it has a ways to go to match the content options available on other services.
What it does have, however is that nice little bonus built into the subscription: 4 free DVD rentals from Redbox kiosks. That alone is worth $4 of the monthly price.[via VentureBeat]