Redbox CEO Says Company Will Continue Innovating23 Dec, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey
Redbox CEO Gregg Kaplan took the time to chat with Home Media Magazine about a “fifth quarter” for Blu-ray Disc, his work at the No. 1 DVD rental kiosk operator and the company’s plans for the future.
HM: What's the single most enjoyable part of your job?
Kaplan: I try to get out to our markets as often as possible and visit many of the Redbox kiosks around the country. Inevitably, when I arrive at a kiosk, there will be a few customers waiting to rent or return a DVD, so I will ask them what they think of Redbox. Almost always the answer is something like, “I love Redbox — what a great service. I am never going back to my old video rental store.” I’ve now heard that hundreds of times, but it never gets old.
HM: Can you name your No. 1 professional accomplishment, or at least the one you're the most proud of?
Kaplan: About once a year, Redbox gathers together the full company for a three-day offsite meeting, and I get to spend time with Redbox employees from all over the country who I don’t get to see that often. Over the course of the three days, dozens of employees will come up to me and, unsolicited, say something like, “I’ve worked for many companies over a 20-, 30-, 40-year career, and I’ve never worked at a place like Redbox. This is by far the best company I’ve ever worked for.” I can’t think of anything I’m prouder of than helping to create a company which employees love.
HM: Can you share your plans for the future, if you have anything specific in mind?
Kaplan: Yes, Redbox will continue to both expand our footprint and bring forth innovations, which enhance our status as the easiest and most convenient DVD rental experience. Today we are by far the most ubiquitous DVD rental company with more than 12,000 locations, but we’re just getting going. We believe over the next few years, we can continue expansion so that our consumers will find a Redbox in every high-traffic location near their houses and work.
On the innovation side, we were the first ones to bring our rent-and-return-anywhere network and online reservations to the DVD rental industry, but we feel we’re just getting started here as well. We believe Redbox, with its sophisticated software and highly networked set of kiosks, can bring innovations to customers that will allow them to rent DVDs in ways they never thought possible, in terms of convenience, robustness and getting exactly the title they want. Over the next year, you will see Redbox introduce several of these innovations.
HM: Is Blu-ray going to have a fifth quarter in early 2009, like DVD did during its beginning? In other words, with Blu-ray hardware sales expected to see a nice up-tick this holiday season, do you expect first quarter 2009 Blu-ray sales (or in Redbox’s arena, rentals) to see a nice spike?
Kaplan: I don’t know, but if the consumer speaks and says that Blu-ray is important now, Redbox will be there.