The Hollywood Reporter reports that DVD rental company Redbox, which has a network of more than 30,000 kiosks all over the country, is interested in buying Netflix's DVD rental business, which is scheduled to be shut down later this year.
Netflix said earlier this week that it would shut down the business that sent out the familiar red envelopes - revolutionizing the DVD rental landscape and putting Blockbuster out of business - in late September, and will focus exclusively on its streaming and original production business.
“I’d like to buy it,” Bill Rouhana, CEO of Redbox owner Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, tells the Hollywood Reporter. "I wish Netflix would sell me that business instead of shutting it down.”
Rouhana concedes that previous efforts to buy the business from Netflix have been rebuffed. And Netflix told the Hollywood Reporter that the DVD rental business is not for sale.
The story notes that "Redbox is already the biggest DVD rental company in the U.S.," and continues to grow - it announced plans this week to add kiosks to some 1,500 Dollar General stores.
Rouhana tells the Hollywood Reporter that "he believes Netflix’s decision to shutter the service will benefit his company. 'This could be a great boon to us because now there are a whole bunch of people who are going to look for a new place to get their DVDs, and we’re close to 90 percent of them based on where our kiosks are located,' he says."
- KC's View:
I have no idea why Netflix wouldn't want to sell a business to which it has no commitment, but this stuff is above my pay grade. (Netflix knows something about being disrupted, but it is hard for me to imagine that a streaming service could be threatened by a vending machine business.)
Here's my question: If you did a Venn diagram of people who stream content on Netflix and people who rent DVDs from Redbox, how big would the overlap be? I cannot imagine it would be very big, but maybe I'd be surprised.