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Archive for August, 2009

The Future of Redbox: Part 1

Redbox has definitely been in the news quite a bit lately. A lot has happened over the last year (and over the last 5 years) that has gotten Redbox to where they are today. Lets recap some of the most recent developments:

  • McDonald’s and other shareholders sold their interests in Redbox, making Redbox a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinstar.
  • Redbox leadership changed quite a bit, with a new President, COO and other top executives.
  • Over the past year they have expanded into nearly 18,000 locations, with that number expected to increase beyond 20,000 by the end of the year, giving them 14% market share in the DVD rental business.
  • They have been involved in a lawsuit with Universal that could have a big effect on how much control a studio can have over a DVD once it is made and sold to distributors and wholesalers. And, just this week, Fox has thrown itself into this issue.
  • We have seen Redbox make some new deals with studios like Sony, Disney and Lionsgate which helps protect their business and preserves $1 rentals for consumers.
  • We have seen fewer “Monday” promo codes, but we are now seeing expanded promotions with many retailers and other companies.
  • Redbox has started to embrace the latest internet technologies by creating an official blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. While we here at Inside Redbox have had these for quite some time, it is nice to see Redbox finally embrace them, too.
  • Redbox has allowed us to create the “Inside Redbox Mobile” app for the iPhone, making Redbox easier to use than ever on the world’s most popular mobile devices.
  • Redbox has introduced Blu-ray rentals and video games into limited locations.

With all of this going on, Redbox is definitely not done and has quite a bit in store for us in the future. What kinds of things, you ask? Well, stay tuned for part 2 of this 3 part series to see what is coming right around the corner. And, part 3 will dive into the little bit more distant future, which may take Redbox to a place you may not be expecting.

In the meantime, do you have anything to add to the above list? Is there something I missed? Let me know in the comments…

Yesterday we heard all about Fox and their new request to distributors to not sell DVDs to Redbox until 30 days after release. So, we learned that Fox sucks just like Universal.

Today we get to hear the Redbox response to this situation. From Redbox President Mitch Lowe:

We were informed of Fox’s position late yesterday. Redbox stands behind our convenience and value that we offer consumers, and we’re pleased to make DVDs available the day they are released.

Let me translate that for you Fox executives out there: “Screw you.”

This is a bit of an old offer, but it does not expire until September 30, 2009, so I wanted to share in case you were interested.

The offer is simple: rent a DVD from a Redbox kiosk at Wal-mart and print your rental receipt and bring it in along with the Redbox flyer (below). So, pay $1 and get a movie and portrait. Enjoy!

[Redbox / Walmart 8×10 Portrait Offer]

In another bonehead move by another dumb studio, Fox has now requested that its distributors not sell movies to Redbox until at least 30 days after their release. This comes after Universal put a similar restriction on Redbox last year, and Redbox sued them. Fox is also expecting a lawsuit in response to this position.

Does Fox know something we don’t? Is Universal about to win the lawsuit and so Fox decided to make an early strike? Who knows for sure, but it certainly seems like a bad move to me and another blow to consumers in a difficult economy.

Listen, I get that movie studios are trying to protect their revenue stream here, but I think they are going about it the wrong way. Why not come up with a solution that does not continue to irritate consumers? Or, at least be fair across the board.

It seems to me a better way to protect their revenues would be to allow the sale of their movies before *anyone* is allowed to rent them, say for 14 days. This way, the people who just can’t wait to watch the latest movies can buy them early, or just wait a few weeks until rentals become available. is there something wrong with this strategy? Would that not solve the studios problem?

Sure, this sounds a lot like what they are requesting here, but it is for a shorter time and doesn’t target only kiosk operators like Redbox. No matter what, it is high-time for studios to come up with a distribution model that goes with the times and doesn’t punish consumers and kiosk operators.

What do you think? Any other ideas on how the studios could handle this and still make money?

[via WSJ]

Here is your list of the top rentals from Redbox for the week of July 27 – Aug 2, 2009…

1. Watchmen
2. Fast and Furious
3. Knowing
4. Streets of Blood
5. The Haunting In Connecticut
6. Dragonball: Evolution
7. Coraline
8. Push
9. Miss March
10. Confessions of a Shopaholic

Redbox and Kroger just announced the expansion of Redbox kiosks into over 2,600 Kroger and Kroger-owned (ie Smiths) locations across the USA.

Currently Redbox is in about 200 Kroger locations, with the rollout of the remaining locations expected to be finished during 2010.

For a limited time the Inside Redbox Mobile Pro app is on sale for just $0.99.

When the sale ends, the price will go up to $2.99, so get it now and tell your friends with iPhones to get it, too. We appreciate your support and hope you enjoy the app!

Get Inside Redbox Mobile Pro here

This offer comes courtesy of Walgreen’s and Post cereal…

Buy any 2 boxes of Post cereal from Walgreen’s and get a code for a free Redbox rental. And, it gets even better…

Read the rest of this entry »

The first Monday of August has arrived, and with it a new Redbox promo code for all locations…

27HZ4KT

Expires tonight (Mon, Aug 3) at midnight.

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