While Redbox might be doing bang-up business with their 24,000 DVD rental kiosks around the country, the company knows how quickly you can go from the front of the pack to the rear (just ask Blockbuster). So in an attempt to compete with online rental and streaming service Netflix, Redbox’s president says it’s hatching a plan to expand its market to online users.
Says Mitch Lowe:
The way we look at it is, How can it help us deliver to our customers things we can’t do in our kiosks? What role might it play in expanding our selection?
Where Redbox loses out to Netflix and other online rental services is non-new release titles. The company’s kiosks are generally used to push the newest and most popular DVD releases, but if customers want an older or more obscure title they turn to Netflix, which has a library of over 100,000 titles, 20,000 of which are available for online streaming.
In order to jump in with both feet to the online market, Redbox will likely need to partner with an existing video provider, much in the way that retail stores like Walmart, Best Buy and Kmart/Sears have.
But, says Lowe, the move toward online video streaming doesn’t ring the death knell for kiosks:
The disc business has a great future… Especially with Blu-ray coming out. It extends the life.
What do you think? Would Redbox be able to compete with Netflix or are they too late to get into the online business?