The death of physical media may be premature. Redbox still thrives and their new loyalty program has legs.
By Richard Pachter
It’s a digital world, no doubt. The diminishing presence of physical media in the marketplace is a fact of life. Target and Best Buy, for example, are both considering the elimination of CDs and DVDs from their brick-and-mortar locations. Only eight Blockbuster Video stores remain and “record” stores have largely reverted to trading almost exclusively in their namesake 12-inch vinyl platters. Even digital files appear threatened; Apple’s groundbreaking iTunes Store, which led the way in the monetization of online music and videos may itself disappear, as streaming appears to be superseding the commercial trade in MP3 and MP4 files.
Yet physical media may not be completely disappearing any time soon. As the resurgence of vinyl records attests, consumers still like tactile and tangible media with all its limitations and idiosyncrasies.
Redbox may seem an outlier to the trend but its ubiquitous kiosks with CDs, DVDs and video games continue to provide millions with entertainment. (It’s also covering its streaming bases with an on-demand service, offering many of the new-release movies available at kiosks, plus movies and TV shows for rent or purchase that can be viewed on smartphones, tablet, computers and smart TVs.)
And Redbox wants to ensure its current customers stay with them whether they rent, buy or stream, so they just unveiled a new and improved loyalty program, Redbox Perks. Previously labeled, Redbox Play Pass, it gives customers the opportunity to achieve VIP status and earn rewards. As they rent and buy movies and games, they will earn "Star," "Superstar" and "Legend" status to unlock program perks and new-release alerts.
"We're recognizing and rewarding members for making smart home-entertainment choices with their hard-earned dollars," said Ash Eldifrawi, Redbox’s Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer. "The updated loyalty program increases the value of each Redbox experience."
"Redbox customers deserve significant rewards for significant loyalty," he added. "We're excited to offer benefits above and beyond free rentals with the updates to Redbox Perks."
The company says that more than 27 million customers are members of the current loyalty program, and that according to a recent Omnibus survey, nearly half (48 percent) of all Americans find out what's new in home entertainment from Redbox. They further state that “Redbox is the top transactional home entertainment provider in the U.S. for movie rentals ahead of other digital rental providers, and all of the nation's cable and satellite VOD distributors. Redbox installed more than 1,800 net new rental kiosks in 2017.”
Richard Pachter is Editor at Large for The Wise Marketer