On Sunday, Redbox announced that the company had rented its one billionth movie. For those who care, the movie that put them over the top was “Clash of the Titans”. Go figure.
The important point is that the first Redbox movie kiosk appeared just six years ago. Now there are more than 24,000 of these convenient, unstaffed, automated little buggers. And the company has announced plans to add service at thousands of CVS pharmacy stores (which seem to be sprouting up on just about every corner around here). Redbox has taken over the local rental market just as Netflix took over rentals by mail (and may soon rule the streaming-over-the-Internet rentals as well). How effective has Redbox been? The LA Times reports that Blockbuster will pull the trigger on a structured bankruptcy this month in an attempt to salvage what it can of its brick-and-mortar business while it plays catchup on both the kiosk and streaming markets at the same time. I have not been optimistic about Blockbuster’s chances for a while, and this latest news from Redbox makes it even more of a long shot.