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Kiosk giant Redbox rolls out movie-streaming service

– Redbox Instant, the movie-streaming venture by Coinstar Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., began commercial service Thursday, vying with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. for online viewers.

The service concluded its testing and began offering sales, rentals and subscription streaming of movies, Chief Executive Officer Shawn Strickland said. It had been in testing with a limited number of customers.

“We think we’ve got a real strong market position for getting the titles faster than other services,” Strickland said. “We’ll grow from there.”

The service, which combines streaming with discs available from kiosks, is focused on movies and aims to draw customers from competitors that don’t offer physical rentals, Strickland said in January. A marketing campaign will start next week and the service will be available through Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox console, Apple Inc. products and Web browsers.

With its offering of downloads for sale, video-on-demand, streaming and physical rentals, the Redbox business will be able to offer titles as they become available to competitors in those markets, and sometimes sooner in the case of DVD rentals, he said. Redbox Instant’s partners have identified a potential audience of as many as 35 million users.

Redbox Instant, at $8 to $9 a month, is counting on price and convenience to lure customers. Users will get unlimited streaming plus four DVDs a month from kiosks. It also offers on-demand rentals and digital sales of newer titles.

“There’s a core group of DVD lovers who really see the value,” Strickland said. “They see the value of the four credits, and the streaming looks like a very affordable add on.”

Redbox Instant will offer streaming titles from Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. and Epix, which includes movies from Viacom Inc.’s Paramount, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

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