Fri, Feb 13th 2009 3:11pm
Redbox, the company that rents DVDs out of automated kiosks for $1 per night, has been bought for up to $176 million by its biggest investor, Coinstar. It was hard to dislike Redbox: the company was having a lot of success in a space where other companies hadn't, by creating a convenient and easy to use service that delivered at a great price. Plus, anything that gets Hollywood's knickers in an enormous twist generally is pretty good. Universal Studios, in particular, tried to hamper Redbox through threats leading to lawsuits (update: clarified that Redbox filed the lawsuit... in response to a threat from Universal), perhaps hoping to kill the company off before launching rental kiosks of its own. But rather than try to destroy Redbox, Hollywood (and plenty of other people) should learn from it: the way to success isn't by putting all sorts of obstacles in the way of your customers' happiness, it's by providing them a service they want, delivered in an easy way, with a lot of value.
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