Redbox wants to give Netflix’s DVD business a second chance at life, but Netflix isn’t budging. That’s according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter (via NextTV), which says that Redbox’s parent company has already expressed interest in acquiring Netflix’s DVD business, only to get turned down by the streamer several times.
Bill Rouhana, the CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul, which acquired Redbox for $370 million last year, tells The Hollywood Reporter that Netflix has brushed off his attempts to purchase its DVD business “three or four times” before Netflix announced its decision to sunset the offering on Tuesday. “I’d like to buy it,” Rouhana says. “I wish Netflix would sell me that business instead of shutting it down.”
After 25 years of mailing movies straight to customers’ homes, Netflix will stop shipping discs from its DVD.com domain after September 29th. A Netflix source tells The Hollywood Reporter that it’s only winding down its DVD business, not selling it, indicating that it has no plans to let another company acquire it. But even if Netflix doesn’t plan to sell its DVD rental service to anyone, Rouhana believes that its closure could still benefit Redbox.
“This could be a great boon to us because now there are a whole bunch of people who are going to look for a new place to get their DVDs, and we’re close to 90 percent of them based on where our kiosks are located,” Rouhana tells The Hollywood Reporter. Netflix declined to comment on the situation. Redbox didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
Redbox dominates the curbside DVD rental market with the tens of thousands of red kiosks it has at stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Dollar General. In an attempt to stay relevant, Redbox launched an on-demand streaming service in 2017 and then debuted its free ad-supported streaming service in 2020.
For years now, both Netflix and Redbox have been contending with a declining interest in DVD rentals as streaming continues to dominate at-home entertainment. Netflix’s DVD business made up just 0.5 percent of its total revenue in 2022 at $145.7 million, a 20 percent decline from 2021. Redbox has seen a similar decline, losing $9.5 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2022.
“We believe in it, and we believe it’s going to be around for a while,” Rouhana tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Like most legacy things, it’s a lot harder to kill them than people say, I believe,” he adds.