Redbox™ is a company that rents movies on digital video discs (DVDs) through vending machines. The term Redbox™ may also refer directly to the company’s red kiosks that customers rent movies from. The distinctive red kiosks are generally found in select high-traffic retail stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and McDonald's® restaurant locations.
The idea for Redbox™ began in 2002 as McDonald’s Ventures LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the McDonald’s Corporation, was actively researching methods to increase customer traffic to McDonald’s® restaurants across the United States. The concept of Redbox™ was based on the fact that McDonald’s® felt that there could be a strong demand for conveniently located kiosks where customers would be able to rent the newest movies on DVD. The first desired effect was that customers who wanted to rent a movie would go to their local McDonald’s® restaurant to do so and while renting a movie would also choose to purchase food at the restaurant. The other hope was that customers who were already eating at a McDonald’s®: restaurant would decide to rent movies while at the restaurant, providing an additional stream of income for McDonald’s®.
The first Redbox™ kiosks were launched at selected McDonald’s® restaurants in Denver, Colorado in 2004. The initial response was ;positive and the company eventually expanded to over 17,000 locations in all of the 48 contiguous United States. The company claims to have rented over 500 million movies since its launch in 2004. In 2005 McDonald’s® spun off Redbox™ as a separate company, and in 2009 sold off its stake in Redbox™ to Coinstar, Inc.
Renting a movie from a Redbox™ kiosk is a relatively simple process. Each machine holds approximately 500 movie titles that consumers can choose from. The customer selects a movie, inserts a credit card, and is charged a set fee per day for each movie rented. Rented movies do not need to be returned to the location that they were rented from, but can be returned to any of the company’s kiosks with no penalty or fees.
Customers are also able to reserve movies through the company’s website. They select which specific kiosk they would like to pick up their rentals from and the movie is pre-reserved for them at that specific location. Once pre-reserved, customers simply swipe the card that was used to rent the movie online and the movie is released.
Redbox™ is also known for its special promotional codes that provide consumers with discounts or even free rentals on select nights. There are quite a few websites and blogs devoted to these promotional codes on the Internet and much of this information can be found through an Internet search engine. Customers can also sign up on the company’s website to receive emails or text messages from Redbox® directly about its promotional codes.