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Redbox: 7 Million McDVDs Served

16 Jan, 2006 By: Holly J. Wagner

Redbox kiosks are doing brisk business, with more than 7 million $1 DVD rentals — 1.1 million of them in December alone.

“We broke daily records every weekend in December,” said Greg Waring, Redbox VP of marketing. “After Wedding Crashers came out, we broke records again.”

Redbox, a majority-owned subsidiary of McDonald's, has 806 machines at McDonald's restaurants and a smattering of supermarkets in eight geographical markets. All but the 1,109 machines in the Denver area hold 500 discs; Redbox is just beginning to replace the smaller, 105-disc machines in the Denver market with the larger ones.

A sellthrough test in the St. Louis market, offering Millions of Cardinals Memories: Busch Stadium 1966-2005 for $17.99 per copy, sold through all 25,000 copies between Nov. 29 and Dec. 26, Waring said. The program was successful enough that Redbox executives plan to offer at least one title per machine for sellthrough by the end of the first quarter.

“We're trying to work out added value promotions, some kind of a free item or rebate on something else,” Waring said.

Meanwhile, a franchisee in Longmont, Colo., is testing Redboxes in the drive-through lane at his two restaurants. McDonald's has no plans to do that at company stores.

“It's not that drastically different from some of our outdoor machines,” Waring said. “It's just that you don't have to get out of your car and walk to them.”

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