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Verizon and the company behind Redbox are teaming up to challenge Netflix in the two-pronged rental game.
The telecom company announced Monday that it is partnering with Redbox parent company Coinstar to offer a streaming service to customers nationwide before the year is over. The new venture will supplement the streaming and download service with hard-copy access to DVDs and Blu-ray discs at the familiar Redbox kiosks found at gas stations, grocery stores, and elsewhere.
"Together, we are erasing old technology boundaries, freeing people to spontaneously enjoy the entertainment they want, whenever they choose, using the devices and media they prefer, at home or away," said Bob Mudge, Verizon's president of consumer and mass business markets, said in a statement.
Mashable points out that the new service will likely be open to anyone in the United States, regardless of whether they have existing Verizon FiOS TV or broadband. Verizon will own 65 percent of the venture, with Coinstar owning the rest. The exact details of the service—including pricing and catalog offerings—will be announced at a later date.
CNet notes that Verizon has at least one advantage over Netflix when it comes to securing streamable content from the major studies: "The company also runs its own paid TV service, which means that it's already negotiating deals with movie studios, TV networks and other video content producers for their movies and TV shows. The company may be able to cut deals with the content producers by leveraging existing relationships."