If news that Redbox and Verizon will create a streaming-video service caused you to spill your popcorn, you have plenty of time to reload your snack bowl before you decide whether to switch services. Even after the Redbox-Verizon service arrives in the second half of this year, it’s unknown whether it will deliver as many movies and TV shows as existing services do, an analyst tells Consumers Digest.
Redbox and Verizon Wireless announced the joint service Feb. 6. No pricing is available, but those who use the service likely will pay a monthly subscription to rent a limited selection of DVDs from existing Redbox kiosks and to stream a wider selection of movies from a new Verizon online service that will be available through all Internet providers.
No other streaming service has a kiosk rental option, which will be the biggest draw of the Redbox-Verizon service, says Dan Rayburn, who is an analyst with Frost & Sullivan. In other words, the Redbox-Verizon service means that you can pick up a movie and watch it minutes later. Netflix is the only other streaming company that has a DVD-rental component, but it requires a wait of a day or two for the DVD to arrive in the mail.
But don’t ditch your existing service just yet. Whether the Redbox-Verizon service becomes a viable option to other video-streaming services heavily depends on its ability to secure content from movie studios. For instance, Rayburn says Netflix has access to more than 22,000 movie titles. However it’s uncertain when Redbox and Verizon will announce how many movie titles that they will have or whether the service will carry TV shows, and experts are reluctant to speculate on how much content the service will acquire.
– K. Fanuko