DVD kiosk rental firm Redbox (s CSTR) hit a major milestone over the weekend, announcing its one billionth movie rental. As a result, it is giving away free rentals to its users and launching a new contest to give away a free trip to the People’s Choice Awards or a Sony (s SNE) Entertainment System.
Redbox, which enables users to rent DVDs from automated kiosks for just $1 a day, has grown dramatically since launching in Denver just six years ago, as the company now has more than 24,000 rental kiosks throughout the U.S. From those thousands of locations, Redbox says users rent an average of 9.5 million rentals a week. The company’s one billionth rental was a copy of Clash of the Titans, which was rented from a kiosk in Tampa, Fla.
While Redbox has been successful in its kiosk business, it is looking to expand its services with Blu-ray rentals and possibly launching a streaming service by the end of the year. The company has already made Blu-ray discs available in more than half of its kiosks around the U.S., with those discs available for $1.50 a night.
It is also reportedly readying a streaming offering that would put it in competition with Netflix. (s NFLX) According to reports, the new streaming service could be announced as early as October, and would offer access to movies online for a $3.95 a month subscription and would include four free kiosk rentals per month. That compares to Netflix’s subscription service, which costs $8.95 a month and includes a one-out DVD-by-mail rental.
As a result of its one billionth kiosk rental, Redbox is giving away a free one-night movie rental to all users, and launching a contest to give away prizes, including a trip to the People’s Choice Awards or a Sony Entertainment System, to members. To qualify, users need to enter a unique DVD code from their rentals on redbox.com/thanks.
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