DVD &Video Rental Wes Novack on 19 Jul 2008

The New Release DVD Kiosk Insider Speaks Out

1 dollar dvd rentalsThe New Release DVD Kiosk Insider Speaks Out

In response to dozens of complaints and unsatisfied consumer comments on our $1 DVD Rentals article, an industry insider is speaking out.

As someone who was involved very, very early with this industry and helped The New Release (TNR) get off the ground, I thought I’d provide an insider’s view of the industry and TNR in particular.

This all started as an experiment to bring customers back to McDonald’s more often, circa 2001. The kiosks were placed outside the stores on separate islands and were miserable failures.

TNR was formed (really in 2003) after investigating the European market, where these dispensers are the standards.

TNR had over 300 dispensers in grocery stores before McDonalds (aka RedBox) had placed even one outside a McDonalds restaurant. Redbox saw the success TNR was having in grocery stores (which really is the best part of this whole thing) and away they went. DVDPlay, the Safeway kiosk provider, began as a manufacturer.

When TNR was young, we provided outstanding customer service. I remember sending someone to a customer’s home to pick up a DVD because they were sick and couldn’t get to the store! We ALWAYS erred on side of giving customers their money back.

Then “big money” came in, causing TNR to hire new management and develop aggressive growth plans. Suffice to say, the new management was terrible.

It breaks my heart to read of the above problems, and to see that Redbox has surpassed TNR by such a huge margin. To think that TNR really launched the grocery store market and that, now, people refer to all kiosks as “Redbox”. I guess you have to give the Redbox folks some credit.

Fast forward to 2008. Obviously, TNR (and DVDPlay) are struggling and Redbox is expanding aggressively – including 3200 WalMarts to come.

If you would like to read the full comment, you can check it out here.

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