If you live in a metropolitan area with great fast internet, don’t forget that Redbox exists. But the company renting new releases from big red supermarket kiosks is still alive and kicking, and Variety reports it plans to go public after being acquired by the special acquisition company (SPAC), Seaport Global Acquisition Corp. The new company is reportedly valued at $ 693 million.
Redbox has had success that runs counter to Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and all the other colossal streamers that rely on set-top boxes, new TVs, and solid internet to function. According to Redbox, about 70 percent of its customers would be classified as ‘late adopters’. They are people who still use CRT TVs, play with DSL, and if they are anything like the Redbox users I know, they stare suspiciously at cloud-based computing.
Despite the business focusing on what appears to be my mother and her best friend, the business is starting to branch out from newsstands. In February 2020, it launched an ad-supported streaming service and added videos on demand in December 2020.
Redbox told Variety it plans to use the money from the IPO to pay off debt and expand its VOD services. With just 40,000 newsstands and 39 million subscribers, it will have to expand quickly to keep up with its rivals. Launched in 2019, Disney Plus has more than 100 million subscribers. Netflix, with which Redbox started as a rival in 2002, has more than 200 million.
Redbox is expected to go public in the third quarter of this year with the ticker symbol “RDBX.”