The world of entertainment is constantly changing and improving. Thanks to technological innovation, the movie and music industries are becoming more and more user-friendly. With the advent of Apple’s iTunes and iPod, it is now possible to carry around your ten thousand favorite songs right in your back pocket without dealing with the inconvenience of CDs. And thanks to Netflix, watching your favorite movies has never been easier as you can essentially watch any movie of your choice by streaming it to your computer or Xbox. With the incorporation of technology into all of these entertainment processes, there’s never a need to come face to face with another person to watch a movie or listen to a song. Has the time come where physical discs are obsolete? Is it possible that DVDs are dead? Redbox would say no!
Redbox, created in 2004, has created a virtually hassle-free way to rent and watch DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs. Perhaps you have walked through your local mall and/or down a street in your town where there has been a giant red box. And perhaps upon seeing this box, you wondered to yourself, “Hm, what is the purpose of this red box?” So you decide to go over and see what’s inside. What you would find, is a selection of the latest and greatest movies! Whether inside or outside, each Redbox is equipped with an interactive touch-screen design that allows you the opportunity to scroll through a large selection of movies that are now literally right at your fingertips. With a capacity of about 600 DVDs, Redbox’s usually have anywhere from 70 to 100 different movie titles available for your choosing. Once you decide what you want to watch, all that’s left is to swipe your debit/credit card and grab your movie! Oh, and I forgot to mention… renting a movie only costs $1.20 a day!
It’s clear that DVDs are not dead. Why do you think people still listen to records when the same songs are available on iTunes in better quality? Although it’s not completely synonymous (I actually very much enjoy listening to old records), there is something bucolic about watching a DVD (at least for the time being).
More importantly though, Redbox is successfully using a business model that will undoubtedly become the norm in the future. It has already been introduced into other consumer industries; for example, many grocery stores have implemented self-check out aisles. I predict that the strategy Redbox is using is the beginning of the end of human interaction in the consumer experience. Instead, the consumer will have a very automated experience in purchasing basic, everyday, goods and services. Such a model would work in essentially any business. Picture a fast food drive thru window. Fast food restaurants will no longer employ people to work the late night drive thru windows. Instead, there will be an interactive screen, very similar to the one on a Redbox, that allows you to drive up and choose what you want. Some fancy, innovative, piece of technological equipment (that is way over my head) would receive your order and provide you with the food. A fellow classmate of mine, Taylor Kenyon wrote a blog entitled “Using Technology to Replace Low-Wage Workers” that discusses how scientists and researches are developing a 6-foot tall hamburger-flipping robot to work at fast food restaurants. And this is only the beginning. The world of consumption will definitely experience significant technological changes and I presume that many more industries will soon adopt a completely automated system of interaction between business and consumer, similar to the one presented by Redbox!
If you want to see how easy it is to choose a movie using Redbox and learn about the proper Redbox movie selection etiquette, check out this short video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdxaoNFTSZQ