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Archive for September, 2009

Coinstar Giving Up Gumballs

Coinstar is simplifying its businesses by selling off its “entertainment services” division.

Coinstar Inc (CSTR.O), which provides coin-counting machines and DVD rental kiosks, said it sold its entertainment services business to National Entertainment Network Inc for a “nominal consideration” as it looks to focus on its core businesses.

So, no more gumball machines, video games and kiddie rides for the Redbox owner. Coinstar will now focus just on its Redbox and coin-counting businesses.

[via Reuters]

Coinstar CFO Calling it Quits

In less exciting news, Coinstar (and previously Redbox) CFO John Harvey is leaving Coinstar after just 3 months on the job.

Harvey decided that his new position with Coinstar was requiring him to spend too much time away from his family. He had apparently been “commuting” between Coinstar headquarters in Bellevue, WA from his home in the Chicago area.

“I’ve chosen to seek opportunities in the Chicago area that will allow me to spend more time with my family,” Harvey said in a statement.

Good for him, putting is family first. Hopefully it all works out for him.

Know anyone looking for a CFO job?

[via MSN]

And the love for Redbox by movie studios and providers continues…

Dawn C. Chmielewski with the LA Times wonders if the $1 rentals at Redbox are going to squeeze profits from online rentals.

A study from SNL Kagan finds that online video-on-demand services like Apple Inc.’s iTunes could suffer if consumers start to think $1 is the right price for a movie rental.

“It could just have earth-shattering consequences to these services hoping to reach people through the Internet,” said Wade Holden, the Kagan entertainment industry analyst who crunched the numbers.

Many of you have already said you would not use YouTube for rentals at a $3.99 pricepoint. At what pricepoint would you use an online service, assuming DVD quality streams?

Or, is the real problem with online rentals just that most people don’t have an internet-connected home theater, and don’t want to watch movies on their computer? Share your thoughts in the comments…

Here are your new releases for September 15, 2009. Do you see anything that is missing? If so, let us know in the comments.

Enjoy!

Redbox is really getting hit from all sides lately. It is the “hit them while their down” strategy. Will it work?

This time the attacker is the Video Buyer’s Group (VBG), a group of independent rental retailers across the midwest. We have heard from these guys before, back in Mach 2008, when they tried to get R-rated movies pulled from Redbox kiosks at McDonald’s locations.

Their current argument mirrors that of the studios, that Redbox $1 per night pricing is causing the poor movie studios to get less revenue, thus making it more difficult for them to make more films in the future, causing many children everywhere to cry, culminating with the earth spinning off its axis and ending civilization as we know it!

Here is my favorite quote, from our good friend Ted Engen, president of the VBG:

Read the rest of this entry »

YouTube Considering Renting Movies?

The movie rental business just keeps getting more interesting all of the time. With all of the recent hubbub between studios and kiosk operators like Redbox, it looks like the studios may finally be trying to do something to save their industry, instead of just sitting back and living off of insane profits.

There are rumors swirling as of late that YouTube is in talks with many of the major studios to get their movies on the #1 online video service. There is no deal yet, but things are looking promising.

Sticking points in the ongoing negotiations include how revenue from the movie rental service would be shared between YouTube and its partners, and whether movies would be accessible from mobile devices, the Journal said, adding that rentals would likely be priced at US$3.99.

Apparently a trial was planned for this month, but has been pushed back because of ongoing negotiations.

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In a shocking announcement, Universal has denied that they tried to get retailers to boycott Redbox, except that they really did.

“Universal denies that it implemented a ‘boycott’ or engaged in ‘interference’ or exerted ‘unlawful pressure,'” the studio said in yesterday’s filing. “Universal admits that Redbox did not sign the proposed Revenue Sharing Agreement, and that it directed VPD and Ingram no longer sell Universal DVDs to Redbox, but denies this direction was wrongful.”

I have no doubt that the movie studios always do what is right, and never try to do anything that would be illegal. I am sure there was no foul play going on at all here. Universal loves Redbox and is only trying to help.

(Note to Universal: Feel free to send my “payoff check” to the address previously specified.)

[via videobusiness]

Here is your monthly freebie code from Redbox!

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Expires at midnight central time. Share with friends!

Here are the movies coming to Redbox on September 8, 2009…

Lately you may have noticed a slow down of my news updates, even though there is news to report. This is because I have been so busy on some other projects, that I have been unable to post as often as I would like.

So, to remedy that problem, I am looking to hire a couple of people to write posts here on Inside Redbox. Read on for all the details…

UPDATE: I have emailed everyone who has commented and shown interest in this position. I am closing comments on this thread for now.

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