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Movie rental industry continues to change, Redbox strives to stay ahead

By Krystal Klei, Reporter
Published On: Feb 22 2013 04:34:01 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 06:42:42 PM CST
EL PASO, Texas -

The Oscars are just around the corner.

For some, that means getting caught up on all the nominees before learning who wins the "best" title.

Some people choose to get their videos through Redbox kiosks, which have taken a bite out of the movie rental industry over the past 10 years.

In 2002, Redbox came to fruition. According to Mark Achler, a Senior Vice President of New Business, Innovation, and Strategy for Redbox, by 2006 the company was taking off.

As of 2012, more than 35,500 kiosks were set up nationwide. Those kiosks rented 2.5 billion movies and games by December of last year.

In El Paso, there are a total of 160 kiosks in 120 different locations. Those locations are primarily found in places like Walmart, Albertsons, McDonalds, Walgreens, Valero, Circle K, and other major national companies.

Redbox kiosks are all owned and operated by Redbox, and they don't offer franchise opportunities.

"We have a partnership with the retailer," Achler said. "They're very excited to have us because it's great value for their customers and, you know, we help drive a lot of traffic to their stores."

Compared to other cities, Achler says El Paso has a similar density of kiosks. Still, that's a lot of kiosks.

With Northeast El Paso growing, Achler said their is a chance even more kiosks will be placed in the City of the Sun. The new kiosks are reliant on new partners popping up in the area, such as an Albertsons or Walmart.

Some claim Redbox changed the movie rental industry when they began churning out movies around the nation.

Achler said Redbox's success can be attributed to the company's business model.

"It's incredible value. It's really simple,. It's easy to use and it's convenient," he said.

Another important part of keeping up with the industry? Research.

"We do look at the rental behavior of each individual kiosk, and we will purchase movies and games based on the transactional history of the kiosk," Achler said.

In addition to standard definition movies, Redbox began offering video games and Blu-Ray disks at their vendors recently.

But the new direction of video rentals is online streaming, through companies like Netflix and Amazon.

Late in 2012, Redbox publicly announced their Beta version of video streaming. Currently, Redbox Instant video service by Verizon is available with a free one-month trial.

Just this month, the service became available for use on XBOX 360.

In addition to streaming, Achler said Redbox has also rolled out a few testing kiosks that offer live entertainment ticketing.

The kiosks are located in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. They offer tickets for things like concerts and theater, with only a $1 processing fee.

If successful, Achler said they hope to bring the option to kiosks around the country.


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