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Today Verizon and Coinstar's Redbox service have announced their joint venture combining streaming content with physical media rentals.
This new venture will launch the second half of 2012. Though you don't have to be on Verizon to use this product, this combined service will be marketed to Verizon's 109 million wireless and 9 million broadband customers as well as Redbox's 30 million rental customers.
That's what makes this partnership so powerful.
Being touted as a new competitor to Netflix, the Verizon/ Redbox partnership will be a new single source multiplatform product with both disk and digital products in an attempt to erase all technology boundaries. Customers can spontaneously enjoy media at home or on the go which should extend the reach of both companies as they attempt to appeal to two different markets.
"We had a clear vision for our digital strategy by adding a streaming component." said Paul Davis, chief executive officer of Coinstar. "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. Verizon has a large customer base and will better position us to take on the changing media landscape."
This partnership will still hinge on any agreements made with their media partners. Warner Brothers recently changed their agreement with Redbox, Netflix and Blockbuster, prohibiting them from renting any new titles until 28 days after they have been on the sales shelves. This led to Redbox parting ways with them. It will be interesting to see how many other studios and distributors follow suit. If delayed content is the future for video on demand, this may be a death knell for those providers seeking to get new films and television series to their customers as they are released.
Unfortunately, Verizon and Coinstar wouldn't give any further details of their partnership (other than the ownership split with Verizon taking 65% of the business) so we'll have to wait until nearer to the date they release this new product. Only time will tell if this new venture will be a serious competitor on the market, or if Netflix will continue to be the dominant force in content streaming.