In move that suggests you may someday live in a world where you won’t have to hear somebody breathing over your shoulder while you try to choose between 22 Jump Street and The Purge: Anarchy, Redbox has announced price increases. Starting on December 2, DVD rentals will cost $1.50 (up from $1.20), Blu-rays will cost $2 (up from $1.50), and video games will jump from $2 to $3 starting in January.
Analyst Eric Wold explains that he expects people to “adjust their usage patterns” in response to the news, and the price hike could further push “market share shift away from Redbox.” (Put another way, if you barely tolerated Redbox before, how much of an increase are you going to accept before finding an alternative to waiting in line to operate a touchscreen bacteria dispenser?) In addition to reduced rental volume, Wold suggested that film distributors might start charging Redbox more per disc, and predicts losses in 2015 and 2016.
It’s only Redbox’s second price hike for DVDs, and its first for Blu-ray and games, and so not everybody shares Wold’s skepticism. Investors liked the move, with stocks gaining over 7 percent on Monday, and according to parent company Outerwall, the increases will “help offset future declines in the physical rental market. Outerwall CEO Scott Di Valerio goes even further, promising increases would enable Redbox to “enhance the customer experience,” presumably by making the experience of renting a movie from Redbox less like renting a movie from Redbox.
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