Verizon looking for national reach with Redbox Instant service 

US telco Verizon is moving ahead with plans to develop Redbox Instant, its new UltraViolet-enabled service combining multiscreen digital delivery with physical media, according to Patricia Lynch, head of content strategy and acquisitions at the company.

Warner Bros recently signed a deal to provide titles via video-on-demand and electronic sell-through for the service, a joint venture between Verizon and Coinstar-owned Redbox. Lynch, speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London today, said that Verizon did not intend to integrate Redbox Instant with its existing FiOS service.

“It will be sold separately, but FiOS has most of the programming already that’s in the JV,” she said.

Lynch said that Verizon was a national company and had recognised there was a need to make a national offering that went beyond the limitations of the reach of its fibre network. It was difficult to take a line-up of programming on FiOS and launch it nationally, she said.

Redbox, which had developed its own product, did not have the negotiating power with studios to break into the digital distribution world on its own and the tie-up with Verizon therefore made sense, she said.

“We are de facto joining the DECE and UltraViolet,” said Lynch. Enabling the delivery of content on up to 12 devices via this service would open up new opportunities for Verizon, she said.

Lynch said that Verizon had effectively “built its own version of the UltraViolet ecosystem” to develop its service, and would now migrate this to the larger UltraViolet universe.

Lynch told attendees at the summit that Verizon was seeing growing success for marketing initiatives via Facebook in particular. She said however that she did not see Facebook as a significant competitive platform for digital distribution on its own, given that people increasingly accessed the service via mobile devices on the go rather than on large TV screens, which were still the preferred devices for viewing movies and other content.

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