Redbox to Rent Some Movies Sooner, Amid Slide in DVD Sales

By Ben Fritz Features Dow Jones Newswires

Redbox got a boost Monday in its efforts to compete with digital outlets as Hollywood's largest studio agreed to make its movie discs available earlier in the company's movie-rental kiosks.

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Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. will now let Redbox rent its DVDs and Blu-ray discs seven days after they are available to buy, the companies said Monday. Warner previously made Redbox wait 28 days out of fear its $1.50-a-night rentals depressed more profitable sales and digital rentals. Two other major studios, Comcast Corp.'s Universal Pictures and 21st Century Fox Inc.'s Twentieth Century Fox, still have similar policies in place.

The deal could help Redbox turn around a yearslong slide. In 2016, revenue from movie-kiosk rentals, a business dominated by Redbox, declined 17% to $1.43 billion, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, a trade group.

Redbox plans to add more than 1,500 net kiosks this year, it has said, bringing its total in the U.S. to more than 41,500.

Redbox's parent company, Outerwall Inc., was acquired last year by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management for about $895 million.

Write to Ben Fritz at ben.fritz@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 22, 2017 13:51 ET (17:51 GMT)