Tuesday, September 8, 2009


UPDATE: More thoughts on the Redbox/Studio lawsuit can be found here at Pulp 2.0

Video Business is reporting that Studios and now a Union is now rallying against Redbox and their devilish kiosks. The argument that the studios and unions share is that the dollar price on rentals that Redbox is offering is seriously hurting their businesses and affecting other occupations in a ripple effect of sorts. Redbox is of course counter-suing several studios.

It would be so easy to say screw the system and stick with Redbox but there is alot to be said. From what I understand Redbox is brilliant; for less than a dollar a day I can rent a new release flick without putting up with long Tuesday or Friday lines, be suckered into buying any other at the counter purchases such as soda or candy, and if I miss a day no problem they just charge my card for another day.

Yet Redbox itself and it's partner Coinstar have not seemed to make enough profit per kiosk and the one dollar price could in theory cause a ripple effect that may or may not hurt studios and their employees and percentage of films made. I don't think that would happen, yet it is one theory floating around.

Studios is however complaining that the dollar a disc price does in fact hurt them severely. This is due to a window that they have long held with brick and mortar businesses like Blockbuster in which the rental fees are between 4 or six dollars for a new release and the sell of used discs don't happen for several weeks or more after the initial rental.

The studios have tried to impede the charging Redbox giant by demanding wholesalers to not to sell to Redbox but guess what? Redbox employees go out with a prepaid card given by higher ups in which said employee goes to a local store and buys fifty copies of each new release on Tuesday to have it in the hands of their customers the same day. This is done at at full cost to Redbox, by the way. The money paid goes to the store whomever they may be.

The thing that pisses me off is that instead of thinking outside of the box and either making a better business model or working with Redbox they instead try the old hat trick of suing the bejesus out of a company in hopes it will die. However, like a Hydra when one head is chopped another appears. So even if Redbox in the end does big fade out there will surely be someone to come in to take their place.

Times are changing; people want their movies now and not later, and with economics they way they are, they want it as dirt cheap as possible. They want it on their TV now or on their portable devices for later and if they can't get it either fast and cheap they will go the pirate route.

I'm just ranting, really. But you get the drift. Old business ideas and beliefs piss me off, especially when there are better ideas out there to utilize. Discuss amongst yourselves and leave a comment about what you think of this growing mess.


Yuup said...

Agreed, I'm tired of big business trying to bully new ideas. It's simple, we can be expectant to live with blockbuster forever. Movie companies should see this rising trend and work with Redbox for a deal, or simply beat them in a better way with something like their own kiosk! (Just as an example)

New Technology > Old People

Tim Shrum said...

The sad thing is that I don't think they will ever think of new ways. They are stuck in this quagmire that they have created for themselves and are just purely ignorant to ever-changing world around them.