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Redbox Instant debut delayed (update: beta test is still on track for this month)

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Although leaked details of the new Redbox Instant service suggested a launch date within the next couple of weeks, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam (Verizon's is Redbox's partner in "Project Zoetrope") told investors today that it would launch commercially in Q1 2013. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety indicated his comments came during the UBS Global Media and Communications conference, where he indicated the beta testing we'd heard would start this month, will actually open up in early January. Word of a $6 per month unlimited streaming subscription plan that could be upgraded to include four kiosk DVD rentals for just $2 more, with apps for Android, iOS, Samsung and Xbox 360 had us more interested than ever in this competitor for Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, but it looks like it will be just a little longer before we get to try it out for ourselves.

Update: We've been in contact with Redbox Instant PR and are informed that while the service launch is due for 2013, the beta test is still on track to open up at some point this month. You can check out the transcript of McAdam's comments after the break, or hit the more coverage link to sign up for updates on the Redbox Instant website.

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John Hodulik - UBS - Analyst
Can you give us an update on where are you with the Redbox JV? We heard a lot about it a number of months ago and I think you were talking about a launch around year-end here.

Lowell McAdam - Verizon Communications Inc. - Chairman, President and CEO
Yes, we are in the process of internal employee beta testing right now and we are very pleased with the progress. I think later this month into the first part of January, we will open it up to customers but in a beta sort of format so that we can shake out any kinks that are left in the process. But so far we are feeling very good about it and I think it opens up a whole new market especially when you team it with LTE even outside the FiOS footprint. So we are cautiously optimistic. Until you are out there commercial for six months or so you don't really know how to judge that. But I think again it gives us the kind of platform that we can build on going forward if over-the-top plays become far more relevant across the country.

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