A thought occurred to me, whilst I was reading some newspaper out in Racine, Wisconsin detail their interest with Redbox in grocery stores. Grocery stores dig Redbox for two main reasons: one, the stores get a cut of the take for offering up space for the kiosk and two, stores get repeat traffic from customers returning Redbox titles. It’s hard for many customers not to think, hmm, well, I’m at the store ALREADY, wasn’t I running a bit low on milk? And I need something for dinner tomorrow, and….
You can see why the stores are happy.
But they may actually be happier with Blockbuster kiosks than with Redbox, and here’s why:
Blockbuster kiosks won’t beat Redbox on price–in fact, it’ll cost almost three times what a Redbox rental costs to rent from Blockbuster–but consumers will likely prefer Blockbuster anyway. Why would they voluntarily pay more, you ask? Two simple reasons: content and convenience. Blockbuster’s titles will download to USB device or SD card, eventually, allowing you to whip in with a thumb drive or an SD card and whip out with a movie. The movie will never need to be returned, as included DRM software will effectively “kill” the download after a certain number of days, thus saving that second trip.
And while Redbox kiosks might have a hundred DVDs available, Blockbuster kiosks will hold a couple of file servers with the DVDs on them in a watchable electronic format. A Redbox kiosk might hold a hundred DVDs, but a file server with a terabyte of storage could easily hold twice that, and there’s nothing saying a Blockbuster kiosk couldn’t have tens of terabytes of storage capacity, fitting an entire video store into a space the size of a phone booth.
So Blockbuster kiosks just might be a match for Redbox after all–we’ll have to wait and see how it comes out in the end, though.