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AP: ‘What’s the deal with Red Box?’

AP: 'What's the deal with Red Box?'

A few weeks ago, I stopped in at a McDonald’s outside of Houston, for a cup of coffee (believe it or not, there was no Starbuck’s in sight and I was on the highway). While waiting in line, I noticed this giant vending machine that dispensed new-release DVD titles for $1. Then, at the grocery store the other day, the vending machine was back… what’s the deal? Caryn Rousseau does some reporting for the Associated Press, about this rental service known as “Red Box.” Here’s some of what she finds:

Red Box started as a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonald’s, but in November Coinstar Inc. purchased a minority stake. Its kiosks were located exclusively in McDonald’s restaurants until recently, when the company started expanding into grocery stores.

The easy-to-use touch screen Red Box interface makes it all the more attractive, Reardon says. Another plus is that McDonald’s set up the Red Boxes so you can rent from one and drop off at another. No more separate trips. Red Box says in the last year it has rented more than 10 million DVDs — about 1.5 million a month.

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