Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox have announced a multi-year agreement that will see Universal Blu-ray and DVD discs continued to be made available at Redbox’s kiosks 28 days following their initial release.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is the home video unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios which, in turn, is part of NBCUniversal. Redbox is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coinstar, Inc. and offers new-release DVD, Blu-ray Discs and video game to rent through its 35,000-strong network of self-service kiosks across the USA.
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The latest announcement was made by Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and Galen Smith, Senior Vice President, Redbox.
“The multi-year agreement between Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox represents a win for consumers, Universal and Redbox,” said Galen Smith. “Redbox is committed to forging relationships that provide our consumers with affordable and timely access to new release content.”
Last month, we reported that mobile operator Verizon and Redbox were collaborating on a joint venture to create a service capable of competing with Netflix. Whilst it was announced at the time that Redbox would continue to operate its DVD and Blu-ray rental service, Verizon said it would deliver a “new content-rich video on-demand streaming and download service,” which is set to launch in the second half of 2012.
Coinstar, Redbox’s parent company, also recently announced it was buying NCR, the company which runs the Blockbuster Express kiosks, with a view towards creating a disc-rental monolith. Gary Cohen, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Experience at Redbox, said that this would mean it would have “more locations than McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.”
So whilst some may have seen the Verizon deal as an effort by Redbox to position itself, understandably, more in the online VoD streaming space, this latest announcement suggests that physical-format media is still very much on its radar.
This latest agreement extends the direct partnership between Redbox and Universal Studios Home Entertainment through to August 2014.