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Some Q&A with Redbox CEO Gregg Kaplan

VideoBusiness’ Danny King had an interview with Redbox CEO Gregg Kaplan recently, discussing things such as the future of Redbox, competition, and the lawsuit with Universal.

Not much new in the interview, but Kaplan did say he believes the DVD rental industry isn’t going away anytime soon, despite digital downloads from the internet and burn-on-demand kiosks.

Emerging technologies such as burn-on-demand kiosks and digital downloads are popular topics for media and analysts because the technology is new and sounds exciting. However, our research confirms that current restrictions on content availability, pricing and technology greatly limit the consumer appeal of many emerging entertainment media.

Personally, I think it is a difficult market to predict, but it does seem logical to assume that DVDs will be around for awhile, with the recent jump in Blu-ray player and disc sales. Also, as Kaplan points out, no one is really competing with Redbox’s price point, so it seems pretty safe to bet on them right now.

I just hope that as technology does change, that Redbox can innovate and change as needed. One place I do see Redbox lacking is in their openness with the internet community, as well as embracing internet technologies that would make it easier for others to interface with their service. Right now, their website is designed in such a way that this is impossible, and mobile access is non-existent.

What do you think? Can Redbox survive as the world goes more and more digital?

45 Responses to “Some Q&A with Redbox CEO Gregg Kaplan”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    I think redbox will have to change why not? rent dvds at kiosk,online,burn do all you need to to stay in it with this price point you know people will keep comimg back for more as long as new releases keep coming,that the only thing

  2. Member [Join Now]
    DMR [dmr]

    There is a code that works once a month for a free rental. Someone gave it to me last month, but i have forgotten it. Can anyone let me know what it is? Thanks…

  3. Member [Join Now]

    What about Blu-Ray??

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tim [visitor]

    How long does it take to burn on demand? I would think at least 3-4 minutes *per movie* after you’ve made your selection. There’s no way I would wait 10-15 minutes in line at a Kiosk–it defeats the whole purpose. (10-15 minutes = one or two customer burns ahead of you plus one or two of your own).

    Redbox’s strength is in the $1.00 rental. It beats on-demand, which will never drop less than the current @$4.00 price.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    jose caldera [visitor]

    I think than doesn’t matter how technology change , longest you still have the lowest price for rent a dvd, have nothing to worried about.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Dave [visitor]

    I find that sometimes when a DVD description says widescreen, it turns out to be fullscreen. I have a 110 inch home theater screen, and only watch widescreen DVD’s for obvious reasons. It’s probably the fault of the guy putting the DVD’s in the box, needs to pay more attention.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Harold Angel [visitor]

      Next time this happens, try flipping the disc over. Some discs are widescreen side A, full screen side B. I’ve seen a few times, and quite stupidly I might add, that side B is the one opposite the bar code, so out of habit you load that side into your player.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    Sharad [visitor]

    One area that definitely raises my interst is the Blu-Ray discs. Blu Ray is the chosen new format and, as seen with VHS, will soon push the normal DVDs to the back shelf. Does Redbox have any plans to include Blu Ray DVDs in their kiosks? That is definitely an area of interest to me and most of my friends and neighbours.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Chris [visitor]

      I would agree, if Redbox can begin adapting in Blue Ray selections, this would greatly improve their sales seeing as the population is moving that way anyway.

  8. Member [Join Now]

    I agree with Jose. As long as Redbox price stays at $1.00 per night, I think Redbox will be able to compete in the DVD market. I just read that Redbox will be renting Blu-ray disks. I hope they are clearly marked as I don’t have a BD player yet. (Maybe later this year as prices continue to drop.)

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    vanhowe [visitor]

    I think Redbox’s selling point is the price of the movie rental. I wouldn’t change a thing. As for Blue Ray disks…I hope they are clearly marked. I will not be getting a BR player and don’t intend on using any of the disks.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    obidawsn [visitor]

    I know Redbox is offering Blu-Ray movies in some of the Wal-Mart locations, but I haven’t seen any around here. I’m hoping to see them soon, though, because now that I’ve went Blu, it’s hard to go back. I watched my first Blu-Ray disc last week and I had a couple of Redbox codes I still had left from the McD promotion that expired at the end of the year, so I rented a couple of DVDs. The difference made me think my eyes were going bad when watching the DVDs.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rod bennett. [visitor]

    I love Redbox and want to thank them for what they have done. I also want to thank their call center
    . I messed up and rented them same movie twice at the same time and the young lady that answered was very understanding and polite. How do I know she was young? because anyone still working is younger then I. Remember if you get Blue Ray all disks are not a like and must be programed. I learned the hard way.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    phaxo [visitor]

    Redbox already does rent Blu-ray disks in some kiosks, and yes, they are clearly marked. I haven’t rented the Blu-ray disks. My guess is that they may have chosen specific areas for those kiosks either as tests or based on market penetration of BRD players. I have occasionally had the same issue as Dave that I got a full-screen disk when I expected a wide-screen. Although I don’t actually recall seeing a choice between the 2 formats. I think the big things that Redbox has going for it are the convenience of picking up new releases at a $1 price point, and the ability to reserve those rentals via their web-site. I have used Netflix as well for the past 5 years, and to be honest having something show up in your mail is even more convenient, but sometimes the wait on new releases can be REALLLLLLY long, unless you get them on first day of release. I think they have to be priced below Digital rentals because renting on an impulse from your house has additional benefits. I agree that I wouldn’t want to wait behind several people doing burn-on-demand disks. I think they have a nice niche that’s dependent on increasing their market penetration, keeping the price point low & maintaining the fresh stock of new releases. Their cost per kiosk has to go down as more people become aware of them and use them…and with more kiosks within a market, they should be able to use the same number of employees to stock a larger number of kiosks. In the end if what you’re after is single viewing of a movie, the only things that matter are cost, quality and convenience.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      David Ingram [visitor]

      Is Blu-Ray really that much better?

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        phaxo [visitor]

        well…yes it is if you have a big HD set and a BD player. The images are all very crisp and true 1080p. In comparison it makes regular movies seem soft & fuzzy…but my issue with Blu-ray had been the purchase price for the disks themselves…I find a $20-30 price tag for most movies to be a tough hurdle. There just aren’t that many things I need to watch over and over again…but rental is a different thing. True HD is definitely nice.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    David Ingram [visitor]

    Where I go to rent a Redbox DVD they have two machines. There is nothing more irritating than a WalMart that only has one Redbox and the people in front of you have to read every movie before they choose one (if they choose one at all).
    Wherever there is good Redbox use, Redbox should have two machines (maybe even three).

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      phaxo [visitor]

      agreed. there is nothing more annoying than waiting 15 minutes just to drop off a movie…but i think most of the time I have to take the blame for that because I’m going there in the 5-6pm time when everyone’s getting off of work. But most of the time people are pretty accommodating when you’re dropping off.

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    Corey [visitor]

    Any chance Redbox will add an “express dropoff” box to its kiosks? Might drive up operating cost, though– which, I’m sure, is a deterrent.

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bob [visitor]

    RedBox is here to stay and it’s because of the price and no membership. Love being able to reserve online and the ability to return to other RedBox locations. The convenience rocks. Netflix is OK, but you spend $17 a month and how many do you really watch? I will never download a movie or wait inline for one to be burned. Too much time and too expensive. I love RedBox!

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tim [visitor]

    My bet is on Redbox. While the selection is not as extensive as video/dvd stores, it is straight-forward and pretty much hassle free.

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Rick [visitor]

    I agree. The wait to drop off movies many times is very irritating. The machine should be able to accept a return while someone in front of you is spending 30 minutes reading the details of every movie in the machine.

  18. Visitor [Join Now]
    Frank [visitor]

    My comment, movies from the 40’s and 50’s – they are a way to enjoy and learn a little history. This would be a way to introduce early movies ( history) as well as enjoyment within the family without the “gap” the comedy movies and action movies; along with some of the great entertainers in the Musicals, e.g., Big Bands of: the Dorsey’s and Benny Goodman, etc. The great tap dancers and vocalist, etc. I’m sure this would be well received and I’m sure there is a market for this early entertainment ( it had to be
    good) was the only entertainment for the average person/family aside to radio.

    Just a comment (suggestion),

  19. Visitor [Join Now]
    marathonman [visitor]

    Unfortunately, I believe Redbox will not be a long term player. Technologies change very quick. Do they have the cash for future changes? Unless they have access to large amounts of capital they will become a victim. Currently, as a private company there is no way to know their financial condition. They applied to go public with the SEC, and it never happended; I assume because of market conditions.

    By the way, my one gripe with Redbox is that the DVDs never contain all the extra features. If I rent at a Blockbuster or Holywood Video, they do.

  20. Visitor [Join Now]
    Kelly [visitor]

    Love Red box ,I just wish the return time change from 9pm to 10pm
    that would be perfect!!!

  21. Visitor [Join Now]
    Kingsport-Rebecca [visitor]

    Does anyone know if the new releases (every tuesday) are accessable at 12:01AM? Or do they not technically release them till after the business day starts?

  22. Visitor [Join Now]
    Frank L [visitor]

    I am a fan –

    I do not all the financials but this program is winner.

    I see a very low overhead operation that get cheaper with each use.

    I am to the point where I rarely watch HBO any more – yet paying $17 a month.

    Couple of suggestions:

    How about a prepaid card? save everyone the cost of the credit card.

    Rewards programs connected to the card – it may save time at Jewel

  23. Visitor [Join Now]
    Robert [visitor]

    People are asking IF redbox is going to rent blu ray???? Ive had blu ray in my local box for about 2 months now

  24. Visitor [Join Now]
    Robert [visitor]

    Oh, and save the cost of a credit card???? wtf

    Ever hear of a debit card???????? wow………

  25. Member [Join Now]

    Hey, How`s 2009 going so far? so far so good guys! Its another Monday!

    Thanks again,


  26. Visitor [Join Now]
    Terri [visitor]

    I just recently discovered the wonderful world of Redbox and I am now a confirmed addict! OMG, to get movies that fast, that cheap, and hassle free? This videophile has died and gone to heaven!!

  27. Member [Join Now]

    Redbox has the best plan for this time, who knows what ways will arise now but $ 1 a night is the market best now.I do not have Bluray but was at a redbox offering a choice of BR or Standard today

  28. Visitor [Join Now]
    barbie [visitor]

    Dear Mr. Kaplan,
    My name is Barbie Montelongo.
    I’m interested in working for company of the Redbox3 Movies. I’m trying to put a job application in Elpaso,Tx. But I can’t find where to go put an application.
    Can you please twll me where to go. Can you send me a respond on my email.
    Thank You Very Much,
    Barbie Montelongo
    P.S. Email

  29. Visitor [Join Now]
    Redsox27 [visitor]

    Redbox is here to stay. It is a very well-funded company and well-run company from the top down. Coinstar owns 51% of Redbox, and McDonald’s owns 49%.

  30. Visitor [Join Now]
    CINDY [visitor]




  31. Member [Join Now]
    superkid []

    If you want to be able to rent Blu-ray from redbox, make sure you email them. I’ve sent two emails basically begging for blu-ray in my area. You’ll get a canned response, but at least they’ll be able to see that there is interest in the format.

    If redbox doesn’t start renting blu-ray, I’m going to just start renting all of my movies at Blockbuster. And I hate Blockbuster.

    • Member [Join Now]

      Boy that would be a really stupid thing to do especially just for an overhyped video format not very many people really even care about! But if that’s how you feel go ahead and give the “devil” your money!

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Superkid [visitor]

        Yeah, those DVD things will probably never catch on either. VHS is where it’s at! Have you ever even watched a BD on a large (50″+) HDTV?

        If the “devil” will meet the demand of consumers while Redbox lags behind, you bet I’m going to give my money to the devil. That’s the nature of a free market.

        My posting this should be a sign that there is obvious demand for Blu-ray at Redbox. I actually wouldn’t be at all upset if they hadn’t thrown out the “Blu-ray just got more convenient” ad on their website. Unless you’re ready to deliver Redbox, don’t tease your customers. You’ll just piss them off.

        They might as well take this page down. It’s been there for 2 months.

  32. Member [Join Now]

    How about a Red Box in a Kwik Trip? There are a lot of them around.

  33. Member [Join Now]

    Redbox is great, but they really, really, REALLY need to develop some kind of express drop-off system (as previously mentioned). It’s extremely annoying to have to wait in line 15 minutes just to drop off a DVD. In fact, wait times in general are the only drawback I’ve seen so far to Redbox. I realize it’s likely cost-prohibitive to alter or replace their exisiting machines, but it would be great if they were able to make accomodate multiple users on one machine (i.e. being able to return a DVD and/or pickup an online-reserved title while another customer is browsing the selection, etc). And yes, I know, multiple machines are the easiest solution.

  34. Visitor [Join Now]
    Tim [visitor]

    Can you return to a different location than you rented from?? thanks