Blu-ray titles will start to pop up in your local Redbox kiosk over the next few months, and the company has talked the major movie studios into keeping the rental price at a sane level.
The company will charge $1.50 a night for Blu-ray rentals, a 50% increase over the cost of a regular definition film which run a mere $1 an evening. As you recall, Redbox had a recent contract renegotiation with Fox and Universal to get their titles into Redbox units 4 weeks after their first ‘street date.’ Some consumers have found the 28 day lag to be onerous.
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While that forbids the company from having a very up to date catalog, they will now have a somewhat dated, but high definition stock for rent at their kiosks. The company rents some 40 million DVDs a week, which represents some 23% of the total rental market.
Redbox in its relatively short history has shaken up the movie rental business by cutting out the need for paid staff and stand-alone buildings, opting instead for automated machines with limited selections. It has been a resonating hit with consumers who have found it simpler to grab a movie upon leaving a grocery store than visiting a second location to accomplish the same task.
What effect the inclusion of Blu-ray titles will have on the company’s bottom line, or the expansion of the file format remain to be seen. Some 16.9% of Redbox renters have a Blu-ray player. Red-box was originally funded by McDonalds. Coinstar complete its full purchase of the company in in 2009 for over $169 million.