The kiosk rental service is an extremely competitive market that has seen Redbox rise to the top, with Blockbuster and several other competitors working their way into the market.
Consumers are becoming familiarized with the large red or blue movie kiosks that are popping up in grocery stores, shopping malls, fast food restaurants and pharmacies.
Coinstar-operated Redbox, which recently rented its one billionth movie and expanded into CVS locations, remains the No. 1 rental kiosk service. Meanwhile, Blockbuster Express is a joint venture that started in 2008 between Blockbuster and the NCR Corp., with more than 10,000 kiosks planned nationwide by the end of 2010.
I’ve found that Redbox was easier for me to use when I first started renting movies a few years back — and it still remains an easier-to-use rental kiosk service. If you’re looking for older movies, the Blockbuster Express kiosks in the SF Bay Area tend to often include titles from months ago.
There is a challenging learning curve for the Blockbuster Express kiosk that leaves some customers confused when browsing, renting, and returning movies. I’ve seen people have trouble browsing movies, removing movies from the cart before finalizing a rental, and trying to use their debit/credit card in the machine.
I’m more inclined Redbox will reign supreme as Blockbuster reportedly has just 6,000 kiosks rolled out — and will only be able to introduce 1,500 more before the end of the year, according to recent reports. Analysts believe the Redbox/CVS deal is a leading factor behind a lowered number of Blockbuster rental boxes that will be introduced this year.
Blockbuster continues to suffer financial problems, and the Blockbuster Express ventures will only help if the company can continue introducing new kiosks.