Redbox hired Chris Yates, who’s worked at companies including CinemaNow, Dell and Omnia Media, as general manager of Redbox On Demand — the DVD-rental kiosk operator’s bid to extend its business into digital.
In the newly created role, Yates oversees Redbox’s digital video business and is responsible for P&L and strategy.
Yates reports to Jason Kwong, Redbox’s chief strategy and business development officer, who joined the company a year ago from Fullscreen. Kwong oversees Redbox On Demand, video games, media and advertising, along with new business initiatives.
“Chris is the right leader as he brings deep knowledge of both traditional and digital media, and an appreciation for our unique value prop – consumer choice across price points and formats,” Kwong said in announcing Yates’ hire.
The company launched Redbox On Demand, its storefront for digital rentals and electronic sell-through, in December 2017. The strategy: to leverage its base of DVD-rental customers into a new revenue stream. Redbox has deals for the VOD/EST service with all major studios with the exception of Disney, which sued Redbox over its sale of digital-download codes extracted from DVD packages. In August, Disney won a court injunction blocking Redbox from selling the codes for new titles.
Most recently, Yates was head of business development, content and strategy for Whipper Snapper Media, an L.A.-based digital studio focused on kids and families. Prior to that he was SVP of business development and monetization for Omnia Media, another digital content studio. Earlier, he was CinemaNow’s VP of content licensing and business development and worked at Dell, overseeing entertainment marketing and content strategy across film, TV, music and gaming.
Redbox operates a network of about 41,500 DVR and game rental kiosks across the U.S. The company was previously part of Outerwall and went private in 2016 in a deal with private-equity firm Apollo Global Management.