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Redbox fixes Blu-ray Rentals at $1.50 Nightly


Is a Blu-ray movie rental worth one-and-a-half times as much as a standard DVD transaction? Redbox seems to think so. Its top exec, Mitch Lowe, said last week that his increasingly ubiquitous kiosk rental firm that brought movie rentals into local supermarkets and other creative-use venues said he likely will charge $1.50 per-day for a typical Blu-ray title. The standard DVD title at Redbox typically goes for $1 a day.

According to Lowe in a keynote address at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy Edge confab in early June, Blu-ray titles likely will begin appearing at a Redbox kiosk near you within a few months. Redbox, not too long ago the scourge of major Hollywood studios, signed deals a few weeks ago with Universal and 20th Century Fox.

The agreement allows Redbox to sell both studios' titles at its pleasure — just as long as it does so starting four weeks after the Blu-ray and DVD titles are released for sale and VOD. The street-date deal also extends to Warner Brothers and is similar to studio deals with Netflix (which recently overtook Blockbuster in the number of movie rentals).

Lowe offered some noteworthy (albeit not surprising) data in his address from NPD Group and other sources, namely:

  • • 17 percent of Redbox customers own Blu-ray players;
  • • Redbox enjoys a 23-percent share of the disc-rental market;
  • • Consumer awareness of Redbox was 72 percent in April (compared to 17 percent 14 months earlier);
  • • 41 percent of Redbox customers rent before they choose a purchase a title;
  • • Redbox now rents about 40 million DVDs a month.