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.

Source: VentureBeat

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/smartguy0101 Anthony James

    I got my invite yesterday.

  • Sparktweek

    I received my Beta invite over the weekend. I was super excited to start streaming movies. Then...I saw exactly what you reference above....very few movies you can stream for free...with most movies being rentals at $4 and up. The selection is very "meh" and borderlines on "wtf?". I just hope that they start adding newer titles to the set of movies that can be streamed for free....otherwise...bye-bye Redbox Instant.

  • ruperto17

    I got my invite last night but after seeing their weak selection I'm no longer interested. Their rental prices are also higher than the Play Store's.

    • ruperto17

      Not to mention that there's no compatible app for GTV. So I would have no way of watching it. The author can contact me and I can gladly pass him my invite code.

  • Thomas Mellen

    Rooted, so I'll never be able to enjoy the shoddy selection and high prices right? Another reason to root!

    • http://www.facebook.com/smartguy0101 Anthony James

      Hide my root app. It works with Redbox Instant.

      • Thomas Mellen

        I can turn it off on SuperSU, too... The question is why should I? Google Play, Netflix, HuluPlus, all work fine while I'm rooted (yes, I subscribe to Netflix AND Hulu, AND RENT movies from Google, even though I'm rooted and cannot be trusted!!). What's the big deal? Verizon wants you to use this service for two reasons (and both are synonymous with money). Rental fees, and increased data plans. They charage you to watch the movie, and they charge you for the bandwidth to watch the movie when you're mobile... Availability is the only way to increase the charges. The more people allowed to stream, the more they make...

  • HotInEER

    Very disappointed I'm waiting on my invite code still, but, if they are starting off this poor, they should have just kept it to themselves. I didn't expect them to have everything Netflix does at the moment, but, something comparable would be nice. Throwing in the extra rentals is a nice touch, seems similar to the Blockbuster Video pass where you could get rentals through the mail and online.

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    All together... HI ERIC!

  • jeb_r

    I also noticed the weak selection. Plus, Netflix has many TV shows, whereas Redbox Instant doesn't. Easy way to bump up the title count (and offer another feature to subscribers.) I was hoping it would be a decent replacement for Netflix, but it's really not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

    Oh joy, knowing Verizon this will start being pre installed on all new phones, just like that terrible blockbuster app

    • http://cashd00d.co.cc/ WHAT?

      Verizon =/= Verizon Wireless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

        I know that, but considering we are talking about a mobile app.everyone should already know which Verizon i am talking about

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hendrick-Stone/100003017904411 Hendrick Stone

    I got my invitation a couple of days ago and their selection is pretty much not worth to worry about making my Androids work. Used it on my iPhone for a bit but I make sure to cancel on time. I addition I don't see the reason for this app to check for root permission.

  • sonicdsl

    Got my invite today. While I'm slightly disheartened at reading some of the comments here about the selection, I've an understanding of starting a project like this, and will at this point assume (yes, I know...) that it will only get better as they grow. I am particularly interested in the concept of included movies, transactional movies, and included physical disc rentals at Redbox. Almost as important will be the quality & performance of the player. In a way, it's almost more of a competitor to Amazon Prime - let's hope it's a better player that can better keep track of what you have watched (particularly if they add TV series).

    TL;DR I'm cautiously optimistic, let's see how it goes in the next few months before a final grade is issued.

  • guest

    This did 0 to actually attempt to explain what redbox instant was

  • Fifth313ment

    If you have a Samsung TV and download the app from the Samsung store and open the app they let you sign up for the beta for free one month with no invite (I signed up for the invite but never got it). But it really sucks! Also if you sign up via the TV then when you try to go to the site it won't let you see the instant section without your beta code, AND I DON'T HAVE A BETA CODE! They have no TV shows at all (I knew that before I signed up) and their movie selection is weak! When I say weak I mean 99% of the movies are either super old or "B" movie madness! Very little are new?! I was hoping instead of the 4 free kiosk visits they could give us 2 free instant movie rentals? Would anyone else go for that? Instead of 4 kiosk DVDs you could get 2 instant movie rentals?! Also the app is hard to navigate and it took me a while to figure out what I was looking at was pay movies.

  • Cameron

    One of the tech guys I work with at DISH got an invite, and the lack of selection completely turned him off from wanting to try it out. I didn’t get an invite, and I’m not looking for one either. I already get over 100,000 titles that I can stream and rent on DVD/Blu-ray by mail without having to leave the house or waste my gas with DISH’s Blockbuster @Home. I don’t foresee Redbox Instant as being a worthy adversary to what I already have considering that I’m already paying about the same and I’m getting much more.