DVD Rental Kiosks Gaining Ground on Traditional Outlets


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?

  • Ross F

    My wife and i have the 3-DVD netflix package, but we’ve used the RedBox kiosks two or three times, b/c of the nice price and as we didn’t want to wait. I like it a lot. It’s simple, it’s inexpensive and it works. You can reserve DVD’s on the redbox website or look on the website to be sure the location you want to go to has the movie you want. it’s convenient

  • Mike

    anytime i want a new release i go to redbox. it’s always stocked and it’s cheap. And in phoenix there’s one or two every freaking square mile. If i want an older movie i use blockbuster or Hollywood, but you can’t beat redbox for new releases.

  • My local “Real Canadian Super Store” in Grimsby, Ontario has a DVD rental kiosk called “The Movie Cube”.


    It’s incredibly convenient and cheap.

  • Teo

    im on the same page as mike. when it comes to new releases you cant beat redbox. the same “hot ” release costs close to 5 bucks at blockbuster but the same exact title is a buck at the rebox across the parking lot. i mean youre only going to watch it once or twice tops but its still cheaper. looking for movies like timecrimes and the diving bell and the butterfly – yeah had to blockbuster because well theres nowhere else. i reccommend rebox a lot. like ross said – inexpensive, convenient and its simple.

  • I stopped going to Blockbuster once I discovered REDBOX at my supermarket in PA. $4.50 vs $1.00. NO contest.
    Blockbusters stock is less than a BUCK. Not a good sign.


  • skot

    i have to say 1.00 is a good deal but you have to think about the long run. blockbuster has been on the verge of going out of business several times (rumors). but what happens if these redbox style unit really do force the brick and mortar stores out. the classic video stores will be few and far between. whats going to happen when you want to rent an older movie?
    it might sound a little exaggerated but you could be losing that whole culture. to me its a little like my stance on walmart. i dont shop there to help preserve normal (local) peoples business. not a cookie cutter business plan were all thats important is profit instead of customers needs. they wont carry the odd or rare stuff because they cant push out or make a bunch of money.

  • In my incredibly small town there are 3 REDBOX units within a mile of each other on the same street (which happens to be the busiest street in town). There are almost always people at them; and on the weekends I see people queuing up.

    At Blockbuster (the ONLY rental place in town) I asked the employee if they’ve been losing business since the REDBOX hit and he claims to have noticed a slump.

    I think it’s a great idea; but I’ve only used it twice for impulse rentals of shitty comedies when I was feeling down. If there’s a new release I truly wanna see I’d rather have the BD from Netflix.

    Too bad it’ll probably be years before they stock BDs in a REDBOX….

  • Ben

    We used one of these REDBOX things when we were staying with friends over in the US. I’ve never really been a movie rental person, but if we had REDBOX’s here in the UK and the price was simillar then i’d use them regularly.

    Blockbuster and the rent-by-mail services are waay to expensive in my books.

    Regarding older movies: They’re generally at the £3.99 price point, or less, to buy from online retailers over here. It’s just as cheap for me to buy them (hence a huge DVD collection) than rent them.

  • stevie_baby

    There’s no real ‘harm’ in these redbox things. They just offer more choice in rentals. As long as there is demand for older movies (and there always will be), then brick and mortar places stocking these will always have business. That said, a lot of Blockbuster type stores DON’T have such a wide selection of movies, and they should expect to move into these niches.