Hi, my name is Eric Ravenscraft and I'm an addict. I have a weakness for trying out new online media services. I've signed up and, where applicable, paid for Spotify, Rdio, MOG, Rhapsody, Pandora, Last.fm, Jamendo, Grooveshark, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Epix, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, and virtually every other movie and music streaming service on the internet. So it bugs me that I haven't yet been invited to add Redbox Instant to my collection of collections. According to Verizon's CEO, though, people like me won't have to wait too much longer as the service will be going public 'before the end of the first quarter.'
What's most interesting is that the company is touting it has 7,500 "streaming and transactional movie titles" available so far. Notice that word "transactional"? It's pretty key. That means a few things: for starters, Redbox and Verizon understand up front that offering a subscription for a huge library of content and augmenting it with individual rental/purchases is essential. Doing one or the other is good, but both would be great.
More importantly, though, it means not everything on Redbox Instant will be available for streaming. In fact, only 4,500 titles will be available over the internet without spending extra money. This may sound like a lot, but it's really not a huge amount. While Netflix doesn't announce specific numbers, some estimates peg its library at around 60k. This is pure conjecture, though and that number can and does fluctuate wildly. Still, Redbox is going to have some catching up to do.
Still, even if we don't see too many invites roll out soon, we can look forward to a public release in just a few short months. So, who wants to get in line? Behind me, of course.