Have you seen those red kiosks at Walmart and McDonalds locations across the US? If not, you probably will soon enough. With about 15,000 existing locations in operation, Redbox is currently rolling their $1 DVD rental kiosks out at a rate of one per hour. Cinematech’s Scott Kirsner has a post about Redbox and their competitor, Netflix.
Both offer DVD rentals, but using distinctly different approaches. Netflix’s DVD title selection is extensive, with over 100,000 titles to choose from. In contrast, a Redbox kiosk carries around 200 titles at a given time. The difference is instant gratification…Redbox is an impulse purchase, made at a location you are likely shopping or frequenting. While Netflix does offer instant internet streaming options, it’s not always the same for folks who don’t have a computer hooked up to their entertainment system. I’ve used both services before, and while I wish the instant selection of Redbox was more extensive, there is no denying the price point and convenience. They also allow you to order a DVD online in advance (ala Netflix), for later pickup at your local kiosk.
I honestly did not see Redbox as that useful when I first used the service, but am finding that we use it more and more. Regardless of which you personally use, I think there is one thing we can all agree on…the good ‘ole fashioned Video Store is all but dead.