First it was Blockbuster and the other giant video chains that they had to deal with; how, the Video Buyers Group, which represents independent video rental stores, has suggested that $1-a-night kiosks could do them in. VBG announced on Friday that it will ask the public to shun the kiosks and ask the studios to do the same. In an interview with Video Business magazine, VBG President Ted Engen warned that "Dollar rental kiosks are to the film industry as the Internet was to the music industry." The trade publication indicated that studios are sympathetic. It quoted one studio source as saying, "Redbox's short-term gains will shortly wreak havoc on producers, writers, laborers and ultimately consumers who love a broad selection of movies." However, some consumer groups have dismissed the complaints, insisting that the studios merely want to continue to enjoy "windfall profits" from DVD sales and rentals as they had done before and that they should adjust to new conditions. A banner on Redbox's website reads, "Don't let a few movie studios prevent you from seeing the latest DVDs for an affordable price." Besides, Redbox founder Mitch Lowe told the New York Times "If you make renting affordable and fun, people are going to watch a whole lot more movies than they did before."

07/09/2009