DEG Reports Increase in U.S. Home Entertainment Spending

Consumer spending on home entertainment was up 3.8 percent to $4.2 billion in Q3, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. “Leading the charge was subscription streaming, with sales up 23.9 percent,” reports TWICE. “Electronic sell-through followed with a 9.8 percent gain, while VOD trailed in third place among digital formats with a 4.8 percent increase.” Packaged media took a hit, with combined Blu-ray and DVD sales dropping 8.7 percent, while storefront, kiosk and subscription rentals declined 17.8 percent. DEG notes that 85 percent of U.S. homes now have a 1080p TV, and sales of 4K TVs are approaching 10 million units. Continue reading DEG Reports Increase in U.S. Home Entertainment Spending

New MoviePass CEO Hopes to Get Theater Owners on Board

Mitch Lowe, a Netflix co-founder and former Redbox president, is now chief executive at New York-based MoviePass, a company that pitches a subscription service for moviegoers. The user gets a debit card, which starts at $30 a month, to attend as many movies as she likes, in movie theaters that cover 90 percent of the country. But movie theater owners are reluctant to fully adopt the non-traditional idea. To gain acceptance, Lowe plans to launch the company’s first major marketing campaign, expand its services and raise more money. Continue reading New MoviePass CEO Hopes to Get Theater Owners on Board

Rental Kiosk Leader Redbox Readies Video Streaming Service

Redbox plans to launch a video streaming service called Redbox Digital. The DVD rental company previously launched Redbox Instant, a streaming service joint venture with Verizon, which lasted 18 months. The new effort will be a video-on-demand store similar to iTunes, Vudu or Google Play, letting consumers stream or buy digital copies of movies or TV show episodes. Redbox Digital will be part of the service’s existing loyalty program, integrate into its mobile apps and support TV-connected platforms like Chromecast and Roku. Continue reading Rental Kiosk Leader Redbox Readies Video Streaming Service

Redbox Instant by Verizon to End Streaming Service Tomorrow

Just 18 months after its official public launch, Redbox announced it plans to shutter its streaming video service on October 7th. Redbox Instant is a streaming video service jointly operated by Redbox and Verizon that failed to gain traction with consumers. The hybrid service launched in early 2013, combining physical disc rentals via Redbox kiosks with a subscription video streaming option. Redbox primarily focused on movies, unlike the TV-heavy model of successful services such as Netflix. Continue reading Redbox Instant by Verizon to End Streaming Service Tomorrow

Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Redbox, the nation’s largest DVD renter, is uninstalling more than 500 kiosks, renegotiating contracts with studios for more favorable content rights, and optimizing its streaming service, Redbox Instant. These changes come as the company faces several challenges: revenue rose only three percent last year after double-digit increases in past years, good locations for kiosks are dwindling, and Redbox Instant only accounts for less than 1 percent of video-on-demand rentals. Continue reading Redbox Refocuses as Sales and Streaming Service Stagnate

Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

Starting next week, the country’s largest retailer Walmart will allow customers to trade in used video games for store credit to spend on other products in more than 3,100 Walmart stores nationwide. The plan is an expansion of Walmart’s program that provides customers with credit for used tablets and smartphones that can be used toward new devices. The plan also represents a potential threat to game retailer GameStop, the biggest seller of used games in the U.S. Continue reading Retail Giant Walmart to Offer Store Credit for Used Video Games

Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Samsung has become the largest smartphone maker worldwide without having many of its own retail stores. Since its growth has slowed while faced with a variety of cheaper models from rivals, Samsung is looking to expand its retail presence in North America and Europe. In the next few months Samsung is planning to open around 60 stores in Europe, and 90 kiosks in Canada. The company has no independent retail stores in the U.S., but teamed up with Best Buy last year to create 1,400 “store-in-store” kiosks. Continue reading Samsung Expands Retail Presence in Europe and North America

Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Japan has vending machines for a wide array of products — from batteries, beverages and magazines to fresh fruit and vegetables. Google joined the fray this week with the trial introduction of Google Play game-dispensing vending machines. Three different machines will each sell a collection of 18 free-to-play and paid-for titles. Consumers with an NFC-enabled smartphone running Android 4.0 can stop in front of the Parco department store in Tokyo’s Shibuya district to access the games. Continue reading Google Introduces Tokyo to Android Game Vending Machines

Blu-ray, Electronic Sell Through and VOD Having Solid Year

Revenue from digital platforms are up 24 percent for the first six months of 2013, as an increasing number of consumers are turning to online options for entertainment. While overall disc sales, including DVD and Blu-ray, declined 4.7 percent for the same period, revenue generated from Blu-ray discs are up 15 percent. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, consumer spending on home entertainment grew more than 2 percent to $8.6 billion. Continue reading Blu-ray, Electronic Sell Through and VOD Having Solid Year

Redbox Instant by Verizon App Now Available on Google TV

Google announced this week that the newly launched Redbox Instant by Verizon app is now ready for Google TV. Available in the Google Play market, owners of second generation hardware will be able to make full use of the app’s streaming capabilities (as detailed at the Google I/O conference, only newer devices have the necessary DRM support). Google Play is currently offering a one month free trial for new subscribers. Continue reading Redbox Instant by Verizon App Now Available on Google TV