Redbox Gets the Ticket


(from Billboard Magazine, October 20, 2012)  Redbox is entering the ticketing game, starting in Philadelphia, offering tickets at kiosks and online.  There are plans for the ticketing service to hit Los Angeles in early 2013.

Before the Internet and call centers, record stores and venue box offices were the primary outlets for ticket sales.  Even recently there have been partnerships with ticketing companies and retailers.  In 2010, Walmart and Ticketmaster teamed up to sell tickets at kiosks in hundreds of Walmart stores.  Before Live Nation’s merger with Ticketmaster, they attempted their own ticketing solution by partnering with Blockbuster, but it failed.

Redbox is a video rental model that has been embraced by the public to the point that Redbox is now averaging 59 million transactions per month.  Their convenience is key; kiosks can be found where consumers live, outside of McDonald’s restaurants, at grocery and convenience stores, and even at select Walgreens and Walmart retail locations.  Branching out into ticketing could also alleviate the mounting pressure from Hollywood studios that have never been a fan of the Redbox business model.

Redbox president, Anne Saunders, believes Redbox could help address an industry-wide issue of unsold inventory, much of which is due to a lack of knowledge by consumers about upcoming events.  “We know from talking with our customers that they go to a lot of live events, and for many of us it’s not always easy to find out what’s going on and how to get the tickets,” Saunders says.

The simplicity of Redbox makes it appealing to extend their service to ticketing.  They would sell tickets are face value or below, with a $1 fee per ticket that serves as Redbox’s piece of the pie.  Customers will have the option to print their tickets at home or pick them up from the venue.  The tickets aren’t limited to music; they’ll be able to purchase tickets to sporting events and other events like film festivals.

The potential of Redbox ticketing extends beyond creating awareness; they could come in if a show needs help with sales and help distribute inventory.