There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple of years about how Blockbuster and other movie rental chains are on the verge of extinction due to the success of rent-by-mail services like Netflix and video on demand. As if things weren’t bad enough, these alternatives are no longer the only form of competition cutting into Blockbuster’s bottom line. According to a recent article from Variety, DVD rental kiosks from companies like Redbox are spreading like wildfire, and are expected to control 30% of the rental market by the end of next year.
You’ve probably seen kiosks like these in your local supermarket or convenience store. They typically stock only the most recent releases, and they charge a hard to beat price of just $1 per night. Clearly it’s all about convenience and the impulse purchase, but the response has been so strong that Redbox reportedly doubled its second-quarter revenue from last year and now has an install base hovering somewhere around 18,000.
Not all of Hollywood is embracing this new rental option however. Universal, Fox and Warner Brothers are all trying to force at least a 30-day window on kiosk rentals, claiming that they are cutting into DVD sales. Can they really argue that kiosk rentals are different than any other form of DVD rental though? Either way, consumers should ultimately dictate the direction that the industry goes in. Have you used any of these movie rental kiosks? If so, have they changed your shopping habits with regards to buying new movies?