In just a few short years, Redbox has gone from a quirky little afterthought of consumers’ McDonald’s visits to one of the major players in the movie rental market. It has bartered and battled with titans of the movie industry, and had its share of both victories and setbacks. Through it all, the concept has remained elegantly (and maddeningly to some) simple: rent a DVD for a buck a night.
My introduction to Redbox came in late 2005 or early 2006 when the McDonald’s down the street from me installed one of the red kiosks. My brother had been raving about how he and his wife had been getting movies cheaply (or for free) from these boxes that I’d been seeing at a few McDonald’s stores, and I decided to give it a try.
I had been getting into the TV show House, and wanted to catch up on the first season, which I had missed. It cost me all of $3 to rent the entire season on DVD from Redbox, and I was hooked on this cheap, convenient new way to rent movies. The same number of rentals would have cost me $15 from Blockbuster, which would have been about half the cost of purchasing the DVDs outright. I later did buy the discs, something I probably wouldn’t have done without my cheap Redbox “preview.”
And so it goes. I still find myself constantly picking up a movie from one of the ten or so Redbox kiosks within a few miles of my house. Yes, the codes aren’t flowing as freely as they once did, but the value proposition remains superb. I’m really looking forward to when my local Redboxes start stocking Blu-rays, and am cautiously optimistic on what Redbox can do to keep pace with its streaming and subscription competitors.
Over to you, Insiders. What was your first experience with Redbox? What got you started, and what has kept you visiting Redbox’s ever-increasing army of kiosks? Take a few minutes and share your first Redbox experience in the comments.