Redbox has tapped Epix for the launch of its new Netflix-challenging streaming service and set a price of $8 for subscriptions, the company said on Wednesday.
The service, dubbed Redbox Instant, will debut in beta format this month. It will be open to the public in 2013 and include access to up to four DVDs rentals a month from the company's kiosks. Customers who want Blu-rays will have to pay $1 extra.
The $8 figure is not an arbitrary one; it's almost the exact price that Netflix charges for its lowest membership package.
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Epix, the cable channel owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate and Paramount, is still on Netflix but opted out of an exclusive agreement with the red-envelope company last summer.
Though Redbox clearly is targeting Netflix, it has a lot of ground to make up. It will have 5,500 movies available to stream, including some library titles from studio partners like Warner Bros., but it lacks the kind of exclusive content from partners like Disney or original productions like "House of Cards" that Netflix boasts.
Redbox Instant is a co-owned by Verizon and Redbox, with the telecom giant having a larger 65 percent stake in the venture.