Monday, 2 March 2015

BLOG -- My "Few" Words About Redbox Leaving Canada

As mentioned in my recap blog for February, I'm gonna briefly talk about Redbox leaving Canada. In short, I am very sad that it left. I hope that someday it will come back.

For those who don't know, Redbox is this movie / gaming rental service that operates through kiosks that are placed in various locations. After registering an account on Redbox's website, you go to any of the kiosks, select from the available titles to rent, swipe your credit card, then the movie / game comes out of the kiosk.

The big draw to this service is that very recent titles can be rented out -- and for really cheap. A one-day DVD rental cost me $1.70 CAD ($1.50 before tax). If I missed out on watching a movie in theatre, renting through Redbox is a good alternative for me to experience it instead of going in blind and buying the Blu-Ray / DVD (I do that pretty frequently, though, and I'm not that happy about it). 

I personally really liked Redbox because:
1. Rental costs are cheap
2. They offered promotion codes every so often for free 1-day DVD rentals (I'd often use those to watch movies I just gotta see.. but I know are bad, hahaha)
3. There was enough variety for me (check out the selection for Redbox US if you're curious. I think the selection was about the same, 'cept for the games)

I could go on to start comparing it to Netflix, but I won't since they are different services. I can say that I don't have a Netflix subscription currently since I feel I don't always watch enough movies / TV shows to justify getting a subscription. Plus I have a large DVD / Blu-Ray collection that I would prefer going through first.

Now -- I'm gonna share why I think Redbox wasn't as successful in Canada as in the US. I think these were its two major issues, and they kinda go hand-in-hand:
1. Low awareness
2. Kiosk locations

Low awareness
Well -- I only found out about Redbox because I had to purchase some products from Loblaws for work. If I never had to do that, I would have never found out about Redbox. Then this blog wouldn't even exist because I probably wouldn't even know of Redbox's existence until it was already gone.

Kiosk locations
From what I remember, most kiosks are placed close to or inside a Loblaws, Sobeys, and Real Canadian Superstores. I personally do not shop at any of those places. So renting could be a bit inconvenient for me sometimes (and for anybody else who does not shop at those places). This kinda also means that unless you are a shopper of either Loblaws, Sobeys, or Real Canadian Superstore, you could end up being unaware of Redbox at all (that could have been me!). If the kiosks were also placed elsewhere when it was active in Canada, please let me know. I don't want to be giving misinformation.

If Redbox were to ever come back, I'd suggest placing the kiosks in a few major malls, to at least build awareness among a varied market (instead of having to be a shopper of a few particular brands). Placing them close to supermarkets could still work, but place them in supermarkets that target a more price-conscious demographic. I think placing them in pharmacies like Shoppers Drug Mart could work as well.

Now, to end off, here is a list of movies I rented from Redbox. This is more for myself, because I am weird like that, hahaha. Remember that I rented some movies because I just gotta see them -- even though I know it is bad. I was a member since October 16, 2013. I only got to use Redbox for 5 months?! No fair... :'(

-The Bling Ring (I was curious how Emma Watson was in this)
-Pitch Perfect (I tried this on a whim, and I'm glad I did. It's one of my favourite movies now)
-The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (my sister was curious about this, lol)
-Rise of the Guardians (I had wanted to check this out in theatres)
-Premium Rush (I tried this on a whim. I didn't know anything about it)
-The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (I watched this to prepare myself for a movie outing with friends, lol)
-The Host (the trailer looked intriguing... what can I say, I was curious)
-Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones (the trailer looked intriguing...)
-Vampire Academy (watching this prompted me to buy all the books, though I've yet to read them)
-The Prisoners (I wanted to watch this in theatres)
-Arbitrage (I tried this based on Chris Stuckmann's review)
-Divergent (I wanted to watch this in theatres)
-Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (I'm gonna say I'm glad I didn't buy the DVD just to watch it, hahaha...)
-Sharknado (I rented this mainly for my sister -- though I was curious about it as well, lol)
-After Earth (I just gotta to watch all of M. Night's movies... lol...)

So in a span of 5 months, I've rented 15 movies. Six of the movies were free rentals. I was planning to rent more when the weather got warmer.

I did not realize this blog would become so long...

Thank you, Redbox. I hope to see you back in Canada!

And to anybody who's read this blog: thank you for reading! :)

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