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Monday, February 6, 2012

Lookout Netflix..Verizon-Redbox is here. Can Netflix become a go to source for origional programming? The future of print is multi-media.

Redbox1From the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for the latest entertainment industry news.

Lookout Netflix: Redbox and Verizon team up on video services. Betting that a combination of Internet streaming and kiosk DVD rentals can give consumers the most complete package in a fractured media landscape, Redbox and Verizon are teaming on a movie rental service to launch in the second half of this year.

The still unnamed business will challenge Netflix by offering a combination of streaming video on digital devices along with rentals from Redbox's more than 35,000 kiosks for a flat monthly fee. The two companies believe that combining the two is the only way to give consumers a comprehensive selection of movies.

According to a regulatory filing by Redbox parent Coinstar, the joint venture will be owned 65% by Verizon and 35% by Coinstar. While full financial details were not immediately available, Coinstar is initially contributing $14 million for its stake, an amount expected to increase significantly as the joint venture's capital needs increase.

Due to complex rights issues, Netflix's streaming service offers a hodgepodge of older and independent films, as the rights to most new releases from major studios are controlled by pay cable networks like HBO for up to a decade after they appear in theaters.

Redbox's kiosks offer newer movies on DVD and Blu-ray at grocery stores and other retail locations that the company says is a five-minute or less drive from more than 70% of Americans. But the machines carry only about 200 titles, a fraction of the number that can be offered on the Internet.
"Consumers who instantly want a new release can go to a kiosk and get it," Paul Davis, chief executive of Redbox's parent company Coinstar Inc. said in an interview. "For titles that are a bit older, there will be streaming capability."

Netflix also offers DVDs along with Internet streaming, but customers need to wait at least two days from the time they return one disc until they receive a new one. In addition, the company is attempting to wind down its DVD-by-mail service and transition all of its customers to streaming, while Redbox wants to keep its kiosk business strong for years to come.

Redbox said in late 2010 that it would work with a partner to move into the digital space and has been seeking a deal ever since. It settled on Verizon last year. The telecom giant will handle technical infrastructure and acquire digital content rights from studios. Both companies will market the service to their customer bases.

Redbox has more than 30 million active customers and Verizon has nearly 109 million wireless and nearly 9 million broadband customers.

Redbox had initially aimed to debut its digital offering in 2011, not late 2012. Together with Verizon it will enter a competitive landscape for digital movie rentals that includes not only Netflix, which has nearly 25 million subscribers, but also a growing competative landscape that includes and Wal-Mart's Vudu. The question is how will consumers respond to potentially having to fish our more to join multiple sevices. And what happens when Apple begins planned network streaming?

Netflix less about flicks, more about TV
Redbox plans to expand to Web next year
Redbox-Warner Bros. deal expires, ending 28-day delay

The Daily Dose: With commercials going for $3.5 million apiece during Sunday's Super Bowl, it is no wonder that NBC did most of its self-promoting before kickoff. Still, the Peacock network managed 11 plugs during the big game, including three each for "Smash," which premieres Monday night, and "The Voice," which made its Season 2 debut right after the game. The best promo, at least in my opinion, was the spot for "America's Got Talent" featuring new judge Howard Stern taking a fire hose to some contestants lacking in talent.

Lillyhammer is a big bet for Netflix

Steven Van Zandt stars in "Lillyhammer." Credit: Netflix.

Big bet on small screen. When Netflix launched, its primary goal was to eliminate drives to the video store and offer a new way to rent movies. Now though the company is putting its money behind television. Not only has it been buying up reruns of shows old ("Star Trek") and new ("Mad Men"), it is also getting into the original programming business. A look at Netflix's gamble and what is motivating it from the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Verizon is moving ahead with its plans to challenge Netflix and it is bring Red Box along for the ride.

'Chronicle' had story to tell. "Chronicle," a found-footage film (which means one of those "Blair Witch" flicks), surprised the industry by taking in $22 million on what is normally a very slow weekend. "The Woman in Black," Daniel Radcliffe's first big non-"Harry Potter" movie, also did well, taking in $21 million. Overall, ticket sales were up almost 40% compared with 2011's Super Bowl weekend. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Studio Ghibli hopes to crack U.S. market. Its films, including "Spirited Away" and "Ponyo," have been critical darlings, but Japanese animation production house Studio Ghibli has not found the big audiences here that it has in other parts of the world. The company, which works with Disney on U.S. distribution, is hoping to change that with its newest release, "The Secret World of Arrietty," based on Mary Norton's popular children's book. A look at Studio Ghibli's latest push in the U.S. from the Wall Street Journal.

The future of print is ... video? Looks like several newspapers are going to try to follow the Wall Street Journal's lead in creating a video outlet to offer live content via the Web. It makes sense. After all, at some point broadband will surpass cable and satellite as the way most people view content. A look from the New York Times at how some papers are turning into television channels.
Oops. There always has to be one at every party. This time it was rapper M.I.A. who flipped the bird during her part of Madonna's halftime show. NBC wasn't able to blur it in time (although I didn't notice it and I'm guessing many didn't until they hit pause and rewound it after hearing about it on Twitter). NBC and the NFL have apologized, although how are they supposed to know what M.I.A. is thinking? Hopefully this will be a one-day story and not turn into a cause for media watchdogs and keep Federal Communications Commission lawyers busy for the next decade. More on the fleeting finger from the Washington Post.

 Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on NBC's new musical drama "Smash."

-- Joe Flint and others

From the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for the latest entertainment industry news.


Bridget West Com 101-4080 said...

I'm not sure how well this Verizon/redbox merger will work out. I think they have a good chance at succeeding though. As a current Netflix subscriber, I can honestly say that I would not mind switching over if Redbox and Verizon can offer comparable, or better, service and cheaper prices. I feel that Netflix has been raising its prices while also lowering the quality of its service. Netflix used to have great new titles from HBO and Showtime along with ther companies. Now, most of those shows have been completely removed or only have certain seasons available - and the newest seasons are hardly ever on there. I've been planning on working my way through my Netflix queue so I can cancel my account an switch to HuluPlus which actually has old seasons of current tv shows. They also post the new episodes at least a day after they air on television.

Anonymous said...

I am a netflix customer for years now and I have had no major complaints except when they raised the prices. I watch some of the movies they have at their library, but I find myself watching more of the TV shows they offer. If Redbox and Verizon bring us new movies and recent episodes, I will undoubtedly switch over to Verizon's service. Thanks for this post. I was completely unaware of anything like this.

Alberto Sayson
COM101 4080

Anonymous said...

I have been intrigued with Netflix and am going to sign up soon. I only hear good things about it. It appears from what I can see that its a good service.

Redbox is good too and I wonder what it will be like now that they are merging with Verizon. It will be a good thing for verizon customers I guess, but what about everyone else on different services that wont get that experience. I guess thats why you chose Verizon :-)

Joseph Contreras HN 4049 COM 101

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Netflix, you had a good run. Red box is cheaper and now that we are going to have internet streaming movies, more accessible. Only the hungriest stay alive, and netflix you just get the leftovers.

Claude marchi com101 hr4080

Anonymous said...

I am a dedicated Netflix user. I also find myself using redbox as well. Netflix raised there prices recently, and I stopped receiving the DVD by mail, and just have the instant streaming because I couldn't see myself paying that much for something I only use occasionally when there's a new movie I really want to see. Redbox is really good for newer movies that you want to watch right then because you don't have to wait for it to come in the mail. I feel that the merger will probably really make redbox a lot better. The only reason I use netflix more than I use redbox is becuase netflix has tv shows and usually redbox doesn't. I hope to see redbox have more options with the merge, and I would probably use it much more often

Com 101 4049
Chelsee Henderson

Anonymous said...

I will gladly leave Netflix as soon As any good replacement comes along, and as this article reads one surely will in good time, Netflix dvds are always scratched and dont play half the time, and they have mostly old stuff available for streaming, the only good thing is the tv shows

Jason Walden com 101 4044

Anonymous said...

I love my netflix but i really like red box except i am to lazy to go and get a dvd and have to go back and return it. Finally red box is coming up with something. I always thought why not do the whole renting $1 movies but online, that is something netflix doesn't have besides new tv shows so I think red box could have done something like that from the start of their growth but who knows maybe the whole verizon-redbox will workout

Stephanie Cardiel comm101 4044

Anonymous said...

I think redbox and verizon made a great business deal. I don't think they'll have any problem competing with netflix or any other companies. Im all for the venture. Congrats.

Andrew Govea Com 101-4049