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Archive for December, 2008

Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes just did an interview with Rick Munarriz over at the Motley Fool, and boy did he come out looking like a fool with some of his comments.

First off, let me say that I have nothing against Keyes or Blockbuster in general. If they can come up with a competitive play that benefits me as a customer, I would give them some of my business, as I have in the past. But, whether they can remains to be seen.

Now, on to the interview and the quote that I think shows just how out of touch Keyes and Blockbuster is on the current competitive environment.

The quote from Keyes:

“Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition,” he said. “It’s more Wal-Mart and Apple.”

My question is: Jim, what are you smoking?

While I am certain Wal-mart and Apple pose threats to Blockbuster, to ignore actual DVD rental companies like Redbox and Netflix as competitors is foolish at best, and delusional at worst.

So, what is going on here? Perhaps Jim is trying to ensure shareholders that Blockbuster is still one of the “big boys”, so only huge corporations (like Wal-mart and Apple) can even be considered as competition. Or, perhaps he sees DVD sales and digital downloads as the real threat, not other companies in the DVD rental space. While I think he is right about those threats, they certainly aren’t the only ones Blockbuster is facing.

Some of the comments on the Motley Fool article show a different tune than the one Keyes is singing, too…

Funny stuff… Here in Denver, one of the most profitable and busy Blockbuster stores in the entire region … just closed its doors. …if Blockbuster wants its grove back, it needs to completely re-visit its pricing strategy.

Blockbuster is going out of business…

I agree with most of the other comments. DVD’s may be a slowly melting glacier, but in-store DVD rental is melting a whole lot faster than DVD rentals as a whole. To dismiss Neflix [and Redbox] as serious competition is delusional…

Check out the article to see the growing list of comments.

Other parts of the interview show that Keyes thinks the future is “in-store digital downloads”. So, he wants people to come back to his stores to put their little memory card in his kiosk and download their movies, then go back home to watch them. Isn’t there an extra step in their somewhere?

Really, if non-streaming digital movies is coming to kiosks, isn’t more likely that Redbox – with over 11,000 locations and growing – would be a better choice? How many of you have a Blockbuster store closer to you than a Redbox? I think I know the answer, as I have to pass by at least 5 Redbox kiosks to get to my nearest Blockbuster store, which is only 2 miles away.
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So what is the point of this post? If Blockbuster execs really think like Keyes has spoken here, I think many investors are about to jump off Blockbuster’s Titanic before it’s too late.
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What do you think?

Jola Moss, marketing director of NCR, did a demo of NCR’s new kiosk at a recent trade show. This is the kiosk that was developed for Blockbuster to use in its test deployment of kiosks to compete with Redbox, DVDPlay and others.

In addition to the demo, she also discussed the future of possible “digital download” kiosks NCR is developing using newly developed SD cards to get the movies from the kiosk to your home. Now if only everybody had SD cards built-in to their TVs!

Check out the hardware and software specs of the new kiosk, and watch the video after the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Monday, another free promo code from Redbox. Enjoy!

Today’s Code: 23MJT7

Expires tonight (Mon, Dec 8) at midnight.

Want to get codes on demand on your mobile phone?
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Redbox Codes SMS
Free Movies every Sunday in December? Sunday Codes from Redbox and Walmart

13 Hours in a Warehouse NR
movie details / trailer
Starring: Paul Cram, Meisha Johnson
Release Year: 2008


Elephant Tales G
movie details / trailer
Starring: Jean-Francois Balmer, Richard Bohringer
Release Year: 2006


Horton Hears a Who! G
movie details / trailer
Starring: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell
Release Year: 2008


Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Movie NR
movie details / trailer
Starring: Mark Hamill, Richard Epcar
Release Year: 2006


Street Racer R
movie details / trailer
Starring: Gregory Paul Smith, Sinead McCafferty
Release Year: 2008


The Dark Knight PG-13
movie details / trailer
Starring: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger
Release Year: 2008


The Man Who Came Back R
movie details / trailer
Starring: Eric Braeden, James Patrick Stuart
Release Year: 2008


In a press release issue by Redbox yesterday, they say they stocked over 100,000 copies of popular DVD “Wanted” just three days after the street date.

The delay comes from the pending litigation between Redbox and Universal, with Universal wanting Redbox to sign an agreement that severely limits what Redbox can do with Universal films and when they can rent them.

“Redbox is working to uphold our cornerstone principles, providing customers with all major new release DVDs – when they are released – for just $1 per night,” said Gregg Kaplan, chief executive officer, redbox. “Redbox is committed to providing our customers with the highest level of service and value, and we will continue to acquire DVD titles despite attempts to limit consumer access to titles at our kiosks.”

The press release also states that there was significant additional cost incurred by Redbox is getting this release for its customers. Read the full press release here.

I hope Redbox can get things worked out with its new distribution partners so that they can get the movies in their kiosks on the actual release date, but overall I think it was handled fairly well.
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What do you think? Did the delay cause you to go elsewhere for this movie?
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Are you happy with how Redbox is handling this?

Here we are in December and Santa is making an appearance at Redbox this year, courtesy of The “Cent”sible Sawyer and Walmart’s Eleven Moms.

Every Sunday in December (and the first Sunday in January), you can get a free rental from Redbox locations inside of Walmart stores. All you need to do is use the code specific to the Sunday you are renting on.
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(So, these work like Monday codes, but we get them in advance.)

The codes are:

12/07/08 – 11MOMS4US
12/14/08 – 11MOMS4UA
12/21/08 – 11MOMS4UN
12/28/08 – 11MOMS4UT
01/04/09 – 11MOMS4UA

Notice the end of the code spells out “SANTA” across all 5 weeks. So, enjoy the codes courtesy of Redbox, Walmart, and the Eleven Moms.

And remember, these codes only work at Walmart locations on the Sunday specified.
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It looks like Blockbuster is deciding to come to the DVD rental party again with some 99 cent rentals of their own, according to a speech given by Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes at Reuters Media Summit on Thursday.
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Now, we don’t know which movies they will be offering for the magical sub-$1 price, but according to the Reuters article, Keyes did note that it would encompass “thousands of DVDs, including many classic older movies.”

What about new releases, Jim? Probably not going to happen unless they want to face the wrath of studios like Universal, as well.

We can never count Blockbuster out of the game, and it seems like with their set-top box, possible kiosks, and now this, they aren’t going to go down without a fight. January will be here quite soon, so we will see what they have up their sleeve shortly.

I haven’t been there in a couple of years myself, and I don’t think this will bring me back, because I currently have about 7 Redbox kiosks between me and the nearest Blockbuster.

What about you? Do you still rent some stuff Blockbuster?
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Will this get you to go more often?

I forgot to post this earlier in the week, but better late than never, right?

Many grocery stores (Albertson’s, Kroger, Smith’s, Acme, Cub Foods, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, and others) are running a special offer this week where you can get 5 free Redbox rentals when you buy $20 of Procter & Gamble products.

Most likely the codes that you get are one-time use codes, so they cannot be shared, but still a great deal if you need $20 worth of stuff from a popular manufacturer.

Check your local grocery ads to see if this offer is happening in your area. And, let us know if you took advantage of this offer this week and how the codes were given to you.

Wanted: Wanted?

Wanted: "Wanted"?

Many of our readers have commented to say that they have contacted Redbox to see what was going on with the new release “Wanted” not being available in their kiosks. It seems that there has been a delay in Redbox receiving the DVDs, thus not allowing them to get them in their kiosks on time.

Now, this just happens to coincide with Universal’s December 1 deadline for its distributors not being allowed to supply Redbox with their releases. This could be a coincidence, but it sure looks like Universal is the cause of this delay by forcing Redbox to get its latest release through other channels.

In any case, Redbox has been telling its customers that the DVD should be available later in the week, most likely by Friday. So, if you can wait a few days, you can save spending your cash at Blockbuster/Hollywood Video, and Redbox will have this week’s hottest release just in time for the weekend.

Maybe Redbox should release a “Wanted” promo code for this minor annoyance. That would help us all feel better. :)

What do you think about all of this?