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Netflix rival Redbox Instant will cost $6 at debut next month

Verizon and Redbox have teamed to challenge Netflix, and their Redbox Instant is being tested and should be available soon.

An alternative to Netflix to be offered by Redbox and Verizon could launch as soon as next month with a basic subscription costing $6.

The service, Redbox Instant, is being beta tested by the companies and while the pair have been reticent about the offering, Janko Roettgers of GigaOm discovered a number of details about it through a help file available to beta testers.

For $6 a month, subscribers get access to the service's video catalog, which is smaller than Netflix's but contains some of the same big-name content, such as Rango, Thor and Iron Man 2.

For $8 a month, in addition to the streaming content, subscribers will get four Redbox credits that can be redeemed for DVD rentals. Rentals can be reserved from the service's website.

According to Roettgers, Redbox Instant will also offer video-on-demand rentals and new title sales, which subscribers will be able to download to some of their devices for offline access. Rentals and sales will start at 99 cents, but popular titles will probably cost more than that.

The service will be initially available on the Web and support a number of devices, including Android and iOS hardware, Xbox 360, and a select number of Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players. Up to five devices can be registered by a subscriber to use the service.

Although no launch date for the service has been released, Roettgers noted that beta testers are being told that they won't be able to pick up DVDs ordered through the service at Redbox kiosks until December 17, which indicates a December launch.

The Verizon-Redbox partnership was announced in February. Verizon owns the lion's share of the venture (65 percent), while Redbox holds a minority position (35 percent).

Whether Redbox Instant will be able to woo customers away from Netflix will depend on its content offerings. Verizon should be able to help Redbox in that department. However, Netflix has a position of strength. It has more content than its would-be rival, and it has cash reserves to get more.

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