Verizon shelves Redbox Instant

Redbox Instant by Verizon (NYSE: VZ), the joint venture that attempted to meld online video content with disc rentals, will deliver its last video rental by the end of Oct. 7, the joint venture confirmed in a terse Web post.

A notice on the Redbox Instant website told subscribers that they would be able to stream movies and use Redbox kiosk credits up to the time the service terminates at 11:59 PDT on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

"Information on applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers and posted here [on the website] on Oct. 10," the notice continued.

According to a spokesperson's e-mail to GigaOm, the "service had not been as successful as either partner hoped it would be" so those partners "made this decision after careful consideration."

Redbox Instant, in operation since 2013, was Verizon's answer to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) using a model that tied subscription video to disc rentals from Redbox kiosks. The Redbox Instant model veered from Netflix by offering a heavy dose of movies as opposed to Netflix and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime, both of which delivered a plethora of TV content and were moving in the direction of original content as well.

The service also suffered from a credit card fraud problem recently which "may have just been the final straw," the GigaOm story said.

The joint venture had hoped to gain momentum by developing applications that worked with PC browsers, iOS and Android-powered devices, Xbox and Sony PlayStation gaming platforms, Roku, Chromecast, Fan TV, Samsung's smart TVs and Blu-ray players, LG smart TVs, Kindle Fire tablets and Windows Phone 8. GigaOm speculated that some Redbox Instant engineers could move to Verizon's online video service, planned for launch next year.

For more:
- Redbox Instant by Verizon posted this item
- GigaOm has this story
- and Multichannel News has this story

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