It wasn’t until recently, that I noticed a blue box in the grocery store that rented movies, much like Redbox, but rather Blockbuster Express. You can rent new releases for a $1, just like Redbox. I’d heard of Blockbuster’s bankrupcy fiasco, but hadn’t given it too much thought. What the hell are they up to now? Aside from copying their competitors’ business models, of course.
Blockbuster Express has apparently been around for a little while, but the reason you may have not seen one is because there aren’t too many yet. The company announced recently that it expects to have 7500 kiosks operating by the end of this year. Compare that to the 40,000 kiosks already in operation by Redbox, with an average of 1 new kiosk being opened every day. They recently rented their one billionth movie. Can Blockbuster really penetrate this market, when Redbox has already has deals with Walmart, McDonalds, Ralphs, 7-Eleven, Walgreen, Albertsons, CVS, and other major local grocery and drug stores (QFC, Bartell Drugs, Shoprite, Stop&Shop, EZ Mart, and Circle K)? Especially considering the convenience of being able to drop off your rentals at any Redbox, Blockbuster is going to have some difficulty. FYI, the one I found was in a 99 cent store in Venice, CA.
Redbox generated a total of $306 million in revenue this year. It’s still less than Netflix’s $550 million the same quarter, but growing much faster. Also still less than Blockbuster’s $788 million. Think about it, if you watch less than 9 movies a month, go grocery shopping, and like new releases, these dvd kiosks make more sense than any subscription service available. I see why Blockbuster wants in on this, but the question is, can they do it?
For those you who like knowing relevant/irrelevant statistics, here’s a cool infographic from Renters: