Redbox today announced deals with Universal and Twentieth Century Fox that will add a 28-day window for rentals of new DVD and Blu-ray discs. Redbox customers may have to wait until May to watch Avatar or the Meryl Streep-Alec Baldwin comedy It’s Complicated, but in exchange, the DVD rental company will get sweetheart prices on DVDs and extended access to Blu-ray titles for its kiosks.
The agreements match a similar deal Redbox struck with Warner Bros in February, in that they end legal disputes between Redbox and the two studios, which means that the kiosk company is now free of all previous legal entanglements.
While it has agreed to new release windows with Warner Bros., Fox and Universal, Redbox has deals with Paramount, Disney and Sony that allow it to stock those studios titles on the day of release. It also has a slight edge on Netflix when it comes to HBO titles, as the DVD subscription company just announced a windowing deal for those titles. Redbox is also looking into facing off against Netflix’s streaming business.
Blockbuster still has the advantage on both of them, with street date availability on all titles it rents. What’s emerging is two very different strategies — Blockbuster’s, which celebrates immediacy, and the Redbox/Netflix deals, which focus on providing a more comprehensive user experience.
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