As we have mentioned on this site previously, the typical Redbox kiosk can hold around 600 discs but usually carries fewer than 200 unique titles. This is the result of a decision, according to Redbox CEO Mitch Lowe, to limit consumer choices by stocking kiosks with a narrow range of titles. Lowe says the decision was made after experiments were conducted offering a wider variety of titles, including classic and foreign films.
“What we found,” he says, “is that today there are so many choices out there, consumers are really looking for some help and guidance.”
Lowe feels that, besides cheapness and convenience, an impulsive rental decision is central to the idea of Redbox. He says that most Redbox customers don’t want to browse for half an hour like they often do at the video store. Even though online rentals are available through the company’s website, only a small percentage of its customers use the feature. The vast majority of Redbox rentals are made on the fly.
“You’re at the grocery store, or Walgreens, or 7-Eleven and on the way out see the machine and the big artwork for a new title,” Lowe says. “And you say, ‘You know, I missed that in the theater, why don’t I pick that up?’ ”
Part of Redbox’s way of encouraging customers to make impulse rentals is its focus on new release titles:
“We found that as we narrowed the selection, mostly things people are aware of from advertising and marketing campaigns — big celebrities, big box-office titles — that’s what people wanted,” Lowe adds.
This strategy may become more difficult as studios attempt to withold new release titles from Redbox (and possibly all rental companies) for a set period after they become available for purchase.
Insiders, do you agree with Lowe that when it comes to renting options, less is more? Do you need “help and guidance” when renting, or would you prefer a greater selection of titles in the kiosks? Give us your opinion in the comments.
[via The New York Times]