Redbox is getting into the April Fools’ Day spirit, announcing a spoof service called Redbox Drops, which, if it actually existed, would use drones to fly entire kiosks to customers’ doorsteps (see the goofy photo illustration above).
The stunt is a promotion for the company’s transactional streaming offering, Redbox On Demand, and comes with a 25% coupon good for rentals today. Instead of subscribing, Redbox On Demand customers pay as they go for each movie or TV title they stream.
In recent months, the rental kiosk operator has been working to assert its place in the entertainment ecosystem despite some significant headwinds, mainly the secular decline in physical media revenue. According to annual figures from the Digital Entertainment Group, total rentals in 2018 declined 13% to $420.4 million, with kiosk rentals (the bulk of which are via Redbox) dipping 8.5% to $263.6 million. The picture is brighter when VOD is factored in, with total rentals including VOD rising 3% to $937.4 million, which is why the company is boosting its streaming capabilities.
At the same time, Redbox has been counted out before and has managed to refresh its lineup and stay relevant. The number of Redbox markets featuring discs with 4K resolution — a must for cinephiles — recently doubled to 15, which CEO Galen Smith attributed to growing demand.
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In keeping with the April Fools’ joke, the company last December debuted its first national TV ads, humorous spots titled “Prehensile Feet” and “Date Night.”
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