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Verizon partnering with RedBox to take on Netflix: report

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More details have emerged concerning Verizon’s plans to destroy Netflix. According to Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch, the telecommunications giant has plans to partner with automated DVD rental kiosk company RedBox to launch a new TV and movie streaming service early next year.

There’s no word on what the new service will be called, but it reportedly has the internal name Project Zoetrope. The service will deliver both streaming and downloading capabilities to a wide array of platforms, including iOS, Android, Xbox, Roku, Google TV, as well as via Web browsers.

Both standard definition and high-definition video will be available. Content-wise, the details are apparently still be working out. But Coldewey says that it will likely include a more back-catalog items, as Netflix does, rather than offering new releases or live TV broadcasts. This lines up with the Tuesday’s report, which cited an anonymous source close to the matter.

The Verizon-RedBox service would be separate from Verizon’s FiOS cable TV business, meaning you won’t have to be a FiOS subscriber to get in on the video-watching action. Verizon already has a FiOS app, available on the Xbox 360, which gives FiOS subscribers access to 26 live TV channels.

Of course, all of this bodes ill for Netflix, which is still struggling to retain customers following a series of highly-public missteps, starting with a 60 percent increase on the monthly cost of receiving both DVD rental and streaming services. According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Netflix expects to lose money throughout 2012, until it can begin to win back subscribers — a task that becomes increasingly difficult when put head-to-head against a Goliath like Verizon.

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Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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