Quick notes about Redbox

1. I’m being 100% genuine when I say that I consider it one of my greatest achievements that I was able to wait to watch the movies ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Interstellar’ until they came out on Redbox. I set a goal for myself, and I was able to stick to it.

When these movies hit the theaters, I knew that my greatest challenge would be waiting 6-7 months and avoiding any spoilers (I didn’t read the ‘Gone Girl’ novel). That meant avoiding the mini-departments in Entertainment Weekly and avoiding the Academy Awards telecast altogether. I stayed away from Twitter (not actually that big of a deal for me), and I turned the channel whenever any comedian or late night host mention either movie. As a result, I was able to watch both DVD releases with fresh eyes. And I enjoyed both movies very much. Ahhh. Mission accomplished!

And then just a week after I watched Gone Girl, Rob Kardashian (of all people) tweeted a spoiler about it as a ‘shocking’ commentary on his family, and CNN posted it on their home page. I made it just by the skin of my teeth!

2. God bless Redbox. They offer us 2-3 hours of entertainment for about $1.20. What else in this world can occupy that much time and only cost you six-score bits? Hardly anything. And yet every week Redox sends me coupon codes. Wow, Redbox is really dedicated to value.

3. The cheapness of Redbox DVDs reminds me of the pricing craziness around ebooks vs. printed books. You would figure with all the costs required to produce and ship DVDs across the country would mean they would be priced at least as much as the movies delivered digitally through OnDemand. But OnDemand movies are nearly 3 times as expensive as Redbox DVD rentals.

I guess the publishing industry and the movie rental industry are configured similarly; they’ve been distributing physical copies for so long that they aren’t willing to rework their business processes for the digital age—or to undercut the value of their physical output.

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