Rental kiosks have surpassed traditional retail shops as the go-to option for film fanatics eager for convenience and low prices. Though Redbox and Blockbuster Express command the lion’s share of consumer interest in the novel service, retail company FYE is now eying up the relatively young industry with a run of new rental kiosks. Could a full-fledged service be in the cards?
Home Media Magazine first reported this week on the chain’s small step towards complimenting new and used movie offerings with an initially limited line of rental kiosks available in select stores. Prices and content at “Movies Plus: Automated Movie Rentals” kiosks are comparable to both Redbox and Blockbuster Express kiosks at $1 per night for a selection of over 4,000 Blu-ray and DVD films, confirmed the industry news site.
One aspect where FYE cannot compete, however, is installed base and presence. Redbox boasts over 27,000 kiosks across the world, and 1,000 new Blockbuster Express kiosks were added across the U.S. in June. However, according to new reports NCR, the company which runs the Blockbuster-branded service, may be interested in getting out of the movie rental business altogether.
FYE’s move is arguably a last-ditch effort to keep stores open and customer interest piqued.
In January, Trans World Entertainment Corp., the owner of FYE, announced impending store closures. One prophetic article laid out which brick-and-mortar retailers could soon cease to be consumer destinations (read: because they’ve closed up shop) in 2011. FYE made the unenviable list, as did Blockbuster and Borders. While the former has seen ups and downs despite its $320 million acquisition by Dish Network in April, the latter met an unfortunate end last week.
Netflix’s just-released quarterly earnings report also supports the belief that interest in traditional physical media for movies may have reached a zenith as more and more consumers look to online streaming.
Are you interested in a new rental kiosk service, or content with your current options? Let us know in the comment section.