Detailed on the Roku company blog, the official Redbox Instant by Verizon application became available for download yesterday. Owners of the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku HD (model 2500) and Roku LT (models 2400 & 2450) player or Roku Streaming Stick can now access the application and stream any of the 5,500 movies currently available through the streaming service. Similar to Netflix’s business model, the Redbox Instant subscription price is $8 a month or $9 a month to include Blu-ray as physical rental option. Redbox Instant subscribers receive four free rentals per month which can be picked up at a physical Redbox location in their vicinity.
While Redbox Instant’s streaming content library is significantly smaller than competitors like Netflix, the subscription plan is more targeted at providing added value to heavy users of the Redbox rental service.
For instance, if someone typically rents three or four movies a month at a local Redbox location, it’s easy to justify spending a few dollars more each month to get access to popular streaming titles like The Avengers or The Hunger Games. Library growth has been relatively slow since March, only increasing by about 1,000 streaming titles over the last five months.
However, the development team has actively building applications on popular platforms since the public launch of the Redbox Instant streaming service earlier this year. Android and iOS mobile applications were the priority at launch and Xbox 360 support quickly followed after the launch. A version of the application has already launched for Google TV users as well.
At E3, Sony promised that the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 would receive the Redbox Instant application by fall 2013. In addition, the Redbox Instant team has reached out to Google in regards to adding Chromecast support to the Redbox Instant mobile applications. After the Roku launch, a native application for the Apple TV could be the next target. However, the application already launched on the Samsung smart TV platform and other partners announced at CES 2013 included Vizio and LG.