Verizon’s Redbox service: more Netflix than TV Everywhere

Details of the new venture are still hard to come by. But the new streaming service being jointly launched in August by Verizon (s VZ) and Redbox (s CSTR) seems clearly intended to compete with over-the-top services like Netflix (s NFLX), and not so much meant to further the TV Everywhere goals of Verizon FiOS.
“This is going after some FiOS customers, but this is really meant for the launch across the United States to the Redbox population andĀ their 30 million customers,” said Verizon chief financial officer Fran Shammo Thursday morning, speaking in Boston at theĀ 40th annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.
Also read: A new ‘stream team’: Verizon and Redbox take on Netflix
Shammo said Verizon’s impetus for the joint venture was not so much to transition video content licensed for the fiber-optic-fueled FiOS’ roughly 4.4 million subscribers, a la TV Everywhere, “but to expand our capability outside FiOS’ footprint.”
As for the Redbox footprint, it’s actually much bigger than 30 million. With Coinstar conducting a separate financially oriented event Thursday, “analyst’s day,” its Redbox unit tallied nearly 39 million customers at the end of the first quarter.
It’s about to take over the 10,000 Blockbuster Express kiosk locations it acquired in February. And the company has plans to expand into Cananda, the third biggest disc-rental market in the world.
As for the streaming venture, Shammo said it will showcase Verizon’s new proprietary digital distribution platform, Verizon Digital Media Services (VDSM), which he believes has advantages over the content delivery networks utilized by Netflix and Hulu.
“Utilizing that backbone, we’re able to deliver content at a much cheaper rate than people out there today,” Shammo said.