Fast Company

Redbox To Acquire NCR's Blockbuster Express For $100 Million, Boast "More Locations Than McDonald's And Starbucks Combined"

Coinstar, the company behind DVD-kiosk service Redbox, today announced it had would acquire NCR's entertainment business for as much as $100 million. NCR, once the central rival to Redbox through its Blockbuster Express brand, operates thousands of kiosks which will now come under Redbox and Coinstar's control.

The announcement comes on the heels of another company announcement earlier today that Redbox would be partnering with Verizon for a subscription-based streaming competitor to Netflix. Now, with NCR's entertainment business under its belt and a digital service in the works, Redbox is in a strong position to shake up the entertainment and retail industries, especially with its 35,400 point-of-sale kiosks already dotting the landscape. And as if today's announcements weren't enough, Coinstar also reported that its quarterly profit had doubled today, jumping to $31.5 million.

The twofold announcement today indicates Redbox and Coinstar are far from leaving the kiosk business. Though many interpreted its announced partnership with Verizon as an indication of the company's digital future, the acquisition indicates that Redbox has doubled down on its efforts and fortified its position in the kiosk business. "While some may have thought that physical was done, we think there is a bright future in physical," Scott Di Valerio, CFO of Coinstar and interim president of Redbox, tells Fast Company. "We don't think physical is going away for three, four, five, seven, 10 years. Physical is going to be around for quite some time, and we believe we can leverage that marketplace."

He adds, "Streaming is great--it's really exciting--but we're also looking at how we innovate in this automated retail space."

When asked what those innovations might look like, Di Valerio declined to go into much detail, indicating that he believes Redbox brand has a larger reach in entertainment among consumers.

"We have more locations than McDonald's and Starbucks combined," says Gary Cohen, SVP of marketing and customer experience at Redbox. "We have this big customer base; we have this direct connection with the customers; we have physical points of presence; we are in the places that America shops."

"You put all that together, and there's a lot of ways you can vector off," Cohen adds, with a knowing smile.

[Image: Flickr user Jeremy Kunz]

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3 Comments

  • Margaret Dugan

    Gary Cohen, Sr. VP Marketing and Customer Experience and his Director of Marketing Communication, Laura Dihel, were abruptly fired yesterday and escorted out of the redbox corporate offices. 

  • ameyer13

    As a movie lover I have visited many Redbox kiosks looking for unique titles that satisfy the rare collector within. I have also found myself collecting fees which are well over $1 as I don’t always get the movies I rent back by the following day. It has a nostalgia effect on me as it reminds me of the days of high rental fees from movie store rentals but with more rare titles to tingle my fancy. How fascinating that Redbox has spent $100 million to buy more kiosks,  considering that it appears that America is moving out of the house with their technology. When I’m on the subway headed to work I like to escape into my movie world so when I arrive at Dish I’m ready to be on my toes. I am amongst the technological mass of the population who enjoys new technology. With my Dish Blockbuster @Home package I feel as though I have the best of all worlds in one $10 package. I love streaming any one of thousands of beautifully unique films to my PC especially on the noisy subway. There is so much to this package but I am after TV outside the house since I spend a lot of time working hard and commuting. It does not surprise me that when asked about live streaming Di Valerio casually brushed it off and declined to give details into how he plans to “innovate in this automated retail space.”