Kiosks in Austin, Texas have bumped the price of movies on DVD from $1 to $1.15 and $1.20. Percentage-wise, that’s an aggressive increase, though it’s still much lower than video on demand or rental store’s charge.
Blu-ray disc and video game prices have not been affected – and the increase seems limited to that city at this point.
Eric Wold, research director with Merriman Capital in San Francisco, noted that the price change is likely a test balloon, but an increase could be necessary for the company to pay for increased studio guaranteed fees. (Some studios, including Fox, have been vocal of their criticism of the Redbox model, saying they feel it undervalues their product.)
Netflix, of course, recently announced plans to hike its prices and, so far, has not seen any significant fallout from its customers, which might have been seen as a sign at Redbox that the market could withstand an increase.
Redbox is known for extensively testing changes to its business model before rolling them out nationally. Earlier this year, the company began renting video games through its kiosks, following a two-year limited trial run.