Coinstar Inc.'s Redbox is selling tickets to live events at hundreds of DVD-rental kiosks in the Philadelphia area and online. The ticket venture - Redbox's first in the nation - will be expanded to Los Angeles in January and then other markets.
People purchase tickets at the distinctive Redbox kiosks using a touchscreen. Because there is no printer, they e-mail tickets to accounts for printing or retrieve them at the event.
The company has partnered with Comcast Spectacor's New Era Tickets to sell excess ticket inventory for some Philadelphia events, said Comcast Spectacor spokesman Ike Richman. Redbox sold tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert in November and will sell tickets to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in February, he said.
Redbox has other sources of tickets, the company said.
There are about 700 Redbox kiosks in the Philadelphia area, in retailers such as Wal-Mart, Wegmans, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens. The venture is part of a broader diversification at Coinstar, which seeks new revenue through its 42,000 kiosks. Throughout the country, in addition to tickets, Redbox is experimenting with selling refurbished consumer electronics and coffee.
Americans rent 58 million DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and video games a month at the Redbox kiosks, but analysts expect the DVD-rental business to shrink over time as more people watch entertainment digitally.
Redbox said on Wednesday that it was launching later this month a Netflix-like video-streaming service with Verizon Communications Inc. Redbox Instant will have about 5,500 movies for unlimited streaming.
Mark Achler, senior vice president for strategy, innovation, and new business at Redbox, said Thursday that the company launched the ticket-selling venture in Philadelphia in October because it's a "great entertainment town."
"We've got a very large percentage of the U.S. population seeking entertainment at our kiosks and now we are going to help them find local entertainment," he said.
Achler said that the plan was to keep the ticket-purchase fee to $1 and that Redbox offers ticket companies a new distribution channel. He said 30 percent to 40 percent of tickets go unsold.
Spokeswoman Kate Brennan said Redbox marketed tickets through "all our consumer-facing channels: kiosks, Web, mobile, and social."
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