Thursday, April 17, 2008

DVDPlay introduces loyalty program

So you've probably realized by now that I'm pretty bullish on Redbox and their competition, who have stumbled upon a new and different way to let people rent movies. While Redbox makes the bulk of the news (and consequently gets most of the coverage over here), competitor DVDPlay has introduced some news-worthy functionality that Evan at StorefrontBacktalk picked up yesterday. Specifically, the kiosk introduces a rent-10-get-one-free loyalty program that simply uses a renter's email address to keep track of the number of movies rented.

Rental movies are an affordable luxury, what with today's high prices keeping more people at home more often than before, so fostering loyalty to a particular mechanism makes a lot of sense. These kiosks face intense competition from Blockbuster and their kin (however lame they may currently appear), Netflix, cable and satellite VOD, video over the Internet from services like Apple's iTV and Amazon's Unbox, and, of course, the bevy of other DVD rental kiosks out there. Encouraging loyal might prove to be a boon for DVDPlay while providing genuine value to customers. And, of course, if they're harvesting user rental histories, it probably won't be long until we see further personalization features like Netflix's suggested rental lists.

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