So Blockbuster is closed and I don't use Netflix because I don't watch enough movies to justify the monthly fee. Then Redbox installed a kiosk nearby. You stop at the box, go through the menu via touchscreen, pick a movie, zip your credit card and you're gone. It's one dollar per day to rent. Sweet deal.
I stopped one night on the way home and tried to rent Tron, and then Inception. They were both out, so I ended up with a martial arts flick.
Took the movie back the next day and thought, "This is perfect for me. No signing up for a service, and I'm only charged when I use it." But I went on to think about the Redbox business model, especially since Blockbuster went the way of the dinosaurs.
More and more content is now available over your Internet connection. Netflix members can watch movies on their monitors. And cable companies like Comcast and Knology offer the On Demand service where you can watch free reruns of your favorite TV shows or pay to watch the latest movies. Where does this leave Redbox?
According to their website, Redbox has 26,000 locations and is in all 50 US states. But does offering physical DVDs make sense anymore? Certainly there are people who do not have computers or computers with fast connections, but how many people in the US don't have cable television?
Books, movies, and music are all data. Data that can be placed in electronic packages and sent around the world. I don't understand how a business model based on physical DVDs can hope to survive. Perhaps they only plan to exist for 5 or 10 years, make as much profit as they can, and then fold. I don't know. But it's hard to think that people smart enough to build a chain of 26,000 locations don't see the digital flood all around them.
I'd better hurry up and rent Tron.
(Pic from pulse2.com. Info from www.redbox.com)