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Over the past few weeks there has been some interesting news coming out of the Blockbuster camp about their plans to launch 10,000 DVD rental kiosks by the end of next year. This is a bit of a delay from the original announcement (which had the kiosks running by the end of this year), but could still be a game changer.

Blockbuster’s partner in all this is NCR, and they have recently announced the purchase of the second largest DVD rental kiosk operator TNR / Moviecube. TNR had about 2,200 kiosks at the time of acquisition, far behind the 15,000+ that Redbox operates, but still almost a quarter of their goal.

I have to wonder if another acquisition (DVDPlay?) is in the works. If so, that would get them to 40% of their goal without having to deploy any kiosks of their own. I guess we will have to wait and see how this plays out.

The question is, can Blockbuster compete in this market that has been wholly dominated by Redbox over the past 4 years? Or, did they wait too long?

Personally, I think they can only compete if they are willing to match Redbox’s $1 price point, and I am not sure if they will be willing or able to do that, especially considering their financial woes as of late.

What would make you rent from Blockbuster instead of Redbox? Share your thoughts below…

58 Responses to “Blockbuster’s 10,000 Kiosks Arriving Soon, Does It Matter?”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Turner Brown [visitor]

    What they, anyone trying to be somebody at the machine business, is a LARGE CAPACITY machine… that is the major problem with REDBOX, it has such a limited storage that it is a pain in the b…t to rent from them on a serious scale… imagine a machine with storage capacity of 1500 movies, with 2 selection screens and an independent return box, there you could have inventory depth and width… something that REDBOX does not still comprehend… rental lines reduces the potential, lack of inventory width reduces potential… they need the original-video machine… if only they where less arrogant

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Sacramento [visitor]

      I am with you on the part that they need to have some sort of independent return box of some sort. I also think they should have some type of LED light under the pictures of the movies on the display side. It would light up if that movie was not in stock. I don’t have the ability to check thier website on my phone to see what location the movie I want to rent is at. Sometimes I am out and don’t get to check before I leave the house. Also, if they had a section where you could search on the kiosks for a nearby location of the movie you want to rent, if it is not available at the location you are at.

      If Blockbuster had the same deal with the dvd’s as Redbox, It would be worth giving them a try. I would only switch to them if they offered a bigger selection, more locations and had better customer service. I have never had a problem with RB’s customer service yet.

    • Member [Join Now]

      I agree that Blockbuster can only compete if they offer a better service, such as Turner has suggested. Larger capacity machines, an indication when the movie isn’t in stock, and separate return so those trying to met the 9pm deadline don’t have to wait.

      My first experience was with Netflix several years ago. I filed amny complaints due to scratched and broken DVDs, and it reached the point where I called and wrote letters and was eventually banned from membership because I complained! (I don’t know if that was permanent).

      So I joined Blockbuster and was very pleased with their service with the ability to rent or exchange DVDs at the store, and receive a DVD through the mail in two days. Now that I discovered Redbox, I have downgraded my subscription, but don’t know if I’m ready to go back to Netflix.

      But my impression lately is that Blockbuster is going down. In a recent visit to their store I noticed the inventory is down, and about half of their DVDs are now for sale rather than for rent. I got the distinct impression they are preparing to close. Has anyone else noticed this?

  2. Member [Join Now]

    Does anyone know how to get a job as the guy who fills the machines with movies or servies them? I would think there is a 3rd Party company. I would work for either Big Blue or Redbox.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    netredblock [visitor]

    I think Blockbuster could (and they should) target foreign movie (Chinese and Indian) watchers, which Redbox does not offer! A wider selection of movies would work in their favor too.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jason [visitor]

    Who wins here depends on who can lock up the locations. It will be a war to be in all the key places. I’d buy from whoever had the most convenient location(s) and best pricing structure. Redbox is a winner for me to date. A challenger would have to make it similarly convenient.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    DILLYCLM [visitor]

    As far as in stock selections, if it’s not on the screen it isn’t “in stock”. The light box art just indicates what out to-date. Redbox could better the experience of listing “nearest locations”. I’m pretty sure blu-ray and games are in the near future. Redbox has served my family and budget well in this turbulent economy.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Superkid [visitor]

    If Blockbuster’s kiosks rented blu-ray movies, I’d never use redbox again. Redbox needs to add blu-ray to more than a handful of kiosks in a few select geographies.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    ictgal [visitor]

    Mlocurior – Jobs at Redbox – I saw them advertised here when they had one come up. The website does not advertise but rather they use the local markets to advertise in or many of the major websites pick up on these postings and repost on theirs – think careerbuilder but not monster.

    They had Redbox in the description so just set up a filter to look for that in your area and eventually you will find one.

    If you are lucky enough to catch a tech at the machine (try Mondays as that is usually the day they fill the new Tuesday movies). I was there and chatted on up on a Monday one time a few months ago. Said that is the day they do it. They might be able to get you an inside scoop on job hunting with them.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Kat [visitor]

    I think blockbuster has way more to offer than redbox. You have individuals helping you. You don’t have to wait in line to return your movies and they even offer rainchecks if some of the new releases are out of stock but the price is what matters I think. I would go back to Blockbuster in a heartbeat if the movies were $1 a night end of story

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ben Negrea [visitor]

    If Blockbuster was to copy Redbox in every way, and offer no more and no less. (same prices/terms) I would rent from whomever has the new releases I want.

    What I like about Redbox is that it has a simplified renting system, easy to use and most of all, it’s fair in every way. Fair prices and terms and non invasive. (they don’t charge you 3 times what the movie is worth if you happen to lose it)

    I can see how customer loyalty can be hard to come by in the movie renting business. If everyone has their ducks in a row, it really comes down to who has more copies of hot new releases.

    Having said all that, I do think that there are things which could nudge a customer like myself to form some loyalty to a particular brand. For example, if I saw a sign on a Redbox kiosks which read: Redbox supports the USO or some other noble cause….perhaps stating that a specific percentage of profits goes to support such cause, it would get my attention and my business.

    No on the other hand, if I the sign said something like: 5% of movie rental profits go towards fighting global warming, I would think the company is run by morons and would never do business with them again. Period.

    Good luck Redbox. In my opinion, Blockbuster is a bit late to the party. But I don’t think it’s going to matter much in the long run because video media is going digital (downloading movies over the internet to play on your TV). The market for movie kiosks will almost non existent in 5-10 years. Perhaps in the future, we’ll be able to download movies directly from without leaving our homes.

  10. Member [Join Now]

    The people assume the movie will be download because they think the internet bandwidth is free and unlimited. However, if the ISP providers start metering the price based on the usage. Then the download business will die very quickly.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Zac [visitor]

    If the kiosks would ……quickly… burn the disk from a memory they could be limitless.