You know, I’ve heard plenty of complaints about Redbox–poor service, limited titles, they’re gonna destroy Hollywood, so on and so forth. But I don’t believe I’ve ever heard “too darn pricey” come up in the discussion, like ever. So imagine my shock when I discover that there’s actually a bargain-priced alternative TO REDBOX.
I know! It’s like saying the dollar menu at McDonald’s is just way too pricey, so here’s a cheaper food alternative. Well, in this case, the cheaper substitute is called BigBox, and they’ve got a plan.
BigBox is like the low-rent flophouse of DVD rentals, in which you pay for your rentals not by the title…BUT BY THE HOUR. The prices are nothing short of astonishing–new release DVDs rent for just SIX CENTS AN HOUR. That’s in all caps because it’s so unbelievable you may misread it without the added emphasis. Older DVDs go for FOUR CENTS AN HOUR, and Blu-ray, the priciest of all, will set you back a horrendous NINE CENTS AN HOUR.
Rent a Blu-ray for one full day, and you’ll pay out two dollars and sixteen cents, which is catastrophically low as far as most rental places are concerned. My local brick and mortar charges like three bucks for overnight on a new release.
If you’re wondering where you can find a BigBox kiosk, well, don’t. They’re still a local firm, available only on college campuses in Wisconsin and Minnesota. But if they ever go into wide-release with, say, Blockbuster’s DRM technology for downloads, then the industry as we know it is doomed.