Redbox outlasted Blockbuster. Who would have thought that would happen when the little Kiosks first started showing up at McDonald’s and grocery stores. On top of that Redbox outlasted almost all the video stores everywhere. It did so by essentially being like a movie vending machine with lots of copies of really only a couple of movies in the grand scheme of things. No you couldn’t find anything and everything but you can find the most popular 50 movies of the past 2 years. That is why it is still going today. But physical media alone can’t work in the current market. That’s why in the last year you might have started seeing Redbox video services popping up on streaming devices and smart TVs. The streaming app is a lot different than the kiosks. In fact price whise it is not any different than all of the other video-on-demand rental services. But what it does differently than others is that it also integrates internet-driven live channels as well as a selection of free on-demand titles.
Redbox is trying to build a digital ecosystem that consumers can use as a one-stop shop for their entertainment needs by engaging with a variety of digital video services within the Redbox app. Over the past several years, Redbox has transformed from a single product physical offering into a multi-window, multi-product experience for entertainment lovers. Today’s audiences are fueling an unprecedented demand for quality on-demand content that is both through subscription and free with advertising, as the overall addressable U.S. digital market is expected to reach $58 billion by 2024.1 Looking ahead, Redbox plans to invest in additional ad-supported content, deploy a subscription on demand (SVOD) channels platform, and expand original movies through Redbox Entertainment titles, helping to simplify the cord-cutting process for consumers. With a unique customer base and new offerings, Redbox’s business is poised to grow and deliver value over the near- and long-term.
Whether this latest incarnation will help it last going forward might depend on how much the new direct to consumer approaches from major players like Disney and Warner Brothers affects home viewing. There has been recent concern that allowing digital copies of films to be so easy to access may cause a major spike in piracy as the most pirated films of the past month are Black Widow and The Tomorrow War. Both are available digitally. Even more, with an option to watch movies at home earlier than before people who may have used the service bc of an absence of movie theaters in their area may be much more likely to watch from home even if it means spending a premium to do so.
Transitioning to a FAST (free ad-supported streaming service) will give Redbox legs going forward and a chance to grow if it understands what the market wants this time as well as it did when it was the new kid on the block.