We’ve all been there — marching out of a 7-Eleven, slurpee in hand, when you see it glowing in the distance: the Redbox kiosk, like a lighthouse in the storm of your Friday night.
The company, a relic of our pre-streaming past, hit the public markets this week in a SPAC deal that raised ~$88m, per Variety.
The move marks a new era for the kiosk king of DVD rentals
Which is timely — according to Nielsen, DVD and Blu-ray player ownership dropped from 90% in 2008 to 67% in 2018 (and only 57% among people ages 18 to 34 — a coveted demographic for advertisers).
While Redbox still operates ~40k kiosks, it’s broadened its offering to better fit modern consumption habits. New developments include:
- Redbox Entertainment: Its production arm that acquires and releases a variety of genre movies at modest budgets
- Redbox Free Live TV: An ad-supported channel that launched in February 2020 and has reached 1m monthly active viewers
- Redbox On Demand: A streaming service that offers free viewing and the ability to rent or buy a list of titles
Together, the new offerings help Redbox work toward its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for entertainment.
But Redbox isn’t dumping its DVD collection quite yet
In December 2020, the firm launched Redbox+, an annual subscription that lets customers rent 12 to 24 DVDs at a time.
CEO Galen Smith says its hybrid approach makes Redbox unique compared to digital-only companies that never actually turn a profit.
Plus, given Gen Z’s budding interest in early 2000s nostalgia, Redbox may have a hidden goldmine waiting in the wings.
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