In an apparent effort to stem the tide of consumer interest in their movies, 20th Century Fox has decided not to make their new releases available to a large, legitimate DVD rental retail operation. Reason? They're not charging enough.
That's the message I get from reading an article at Company Town, a Los Angeles Times blog. Reportedly, Fox "has instructed its DVD wholesalers not to sell discs to Redbox -- which is owned by Coinstar Inc. -- or other DVD kiosk companies until 30 days after they are released." Fox is not alone among Hollywood studios. "Many studios are wary of Redbox, whose business has doubled in the last year, because its kiosks rent out DVDs for just $1 per night. That undercuts stores with higher rental prices, Netflix and disc sales." Universal Studios is involved in a legal case with Redbox because the studio wants a 45-day window. However, EngadgetHD notes that Disney, Lions Gate, and Sony have agreed to deals with Redbox.
With DVD sales down, studios want to maximum their revenues from every source and, to be fair, waiting 30-45 days to be able to rent a movie for $1.00 doesn't seem unreasonable to me. But, though the big red machines have popped up outside convenience stores in my neighborhood, I haven't tried them out yet. Have you? Does it work as advertised? Are you a repeat customer? Why you do rent from Redbox rather than Blockbuster, Netflix, or your local video store? What's the biggest determining factor for you: price, selection, or convenience?