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Coinstar’s Redbox unit and telecom giant Verizon have formed a new joint venture that will combine online movies and DVD rentals in a unified subscription service for consumers.

The companies announced the initiative this morning, saying they plan to start rolling out a combined service in the second half of this year. Pricing wasn’t announced, but the idea is to give customers an overarching service that lets them access DVDs from Redbox kiosks in addition to streaming and downloadable movies from Verizon.

It’s the culmination of a longstanding bid by Redbox to expand into digital distribution, seeking to position itself as a stronger rival to Netflix.

Redbox and Verizon say the service will be available regardless of device or broadband/wireless carrier.

Verizon owns 65 percent of the joint venture, and Redbox 35 percent.


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