What do Customers Really Want from Redbox?
Can Redbox survive?
Redbox already tried a streaming service in 2013, and it failed. We are in a transition period right now, still giving Redbox an opportunity to transform itself. I believe Redbox cannot be another Netflix, and should not even try.
So what should Redbox do? I am going to tell you.
Users have a certain expectation of Redbox; a strong brand and a positive image - but a very specific image, and that image defines what Redbox is. In other words, at this point it's up to customers to say what Redbox is - it is NOT up to Redbox to say. So for example, if Redbox tries to say it is another Netflix, they will fail. Just as if Redbox said it is another Disney, or another Comcast, they would fail. Their brand has been defined.
So just what do customers say Redbox is? I think it's simple:
Redbox is an easy & convenient way to get movies that are almost new, but cheaper than Pay Per View.
Now if Redbox can achieve that same thing, in a streaming model, then they might survive long term. Otherwise, they are done.
On our Directv account, a PPV movie can cost up to $5.99. If Redbox could do almost-new movies for $2.99, that would be interesting. Perhaps they can have a membership fee, like $3.99/mo, in order to offer those prices. I believe there will be some kind of model like that which can work.
In terms of apps, the word 'box' does not seem to have much meaning, unless Redbox had its own set-top box; and color it red. It can be a dongle, like Chromecast. To keep it simple for users, Redbox could consider bundling other services into its set-top. And it really needs to be in Roku boxes, and built into TV's. Redbox needs to be everywhere; because markets now are fragmented into many different platforms. Their app needs to be bunded on phones like Samsung and the iPhone.
And they need the best rewards program that anyone has ever seen. If they can grow a rewards program with other offerings, like music streaming, then they might get some traction.
Just as their real-world red boxes are everywhere (it seems), so must they be online. They could even seek investor-partners from other large companies, by selling equity in Outerwall (the corporate parent of Redbox), as they forge deals to be visible on the main destination pages of the web. An example of that might be a strategic investment with a company like Panasonic, which is strong in manufacturing (could make the set-top box) and very active in connected environments.
If Redbox were to have some focus in connected environments that could be a growth area. An example of a connected environment is the car, and the bus. There are EV buses coming, where every seat will have both wifi and a nice monitor. Redbox needs to be very active in these connected environments, both in movies - and perhaps in music as well.
In summary, if Redbox is everywhere, is cheap, is active in the emerging connected environments, then they can survive - and even thrive.,
We have some other ideas related to movie streaming which are proprietary and will be communicated privately.
You can also read our thoughts on music streaming at our blog, MusicStreaming.com.