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Discussion Starter #1
I've ben using the one at a Metro grocery store nearby, here in Kanata (suburb of Ottawa). It's just a 1-minute detour on the way to/from work, so very convenient for me. They are now charing $1 a day for DVD and have very recently started renting blu rays for $2. My first foray into blu ray was a disappointment as the kiosk dispensed a DVD copy of the movie I rented. I called the 1-8xx number and they verified that I received a DVD copy, even though they charged me for a blu ray. I got a promo code for a free blu ray next time (have not used it yet because the blu ray selection is still rather limited).

The two biggest beefs I have with the kiosks are the waiting times (if you get stuck behind someone who doesn't know what they want) and a recent quality issue -- the last two discs we rented were scracthed enough so the upstairs player practically could not play it. The PS3 was a little better but it was bad in both.

Still, that's 2 out of about a dozen movies I've rented so far. The price cannot be beat, especially because of the convenience (for me, a trip to the nearest video store is about a 12-minute car drive).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just tried to rent my second blu ray and, guess what -- another DVD copy. This time I'd better get more than a free rental for my troubles.
 

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With the closure of our local Blockbuster, my wife and I decided to try the Zip kiosk at the local Metro. So far, we've rented three titles (two on Blu-ray, one on DVD) at that store - and another DVD at a downtown location - without any fuss.

Availability has been pretty good - although we did have to go with a DVD at the downtown rental because the machine was out of BDs - and the price is certainly right!

I was puzzled by the lack of receipts issued, but on the last trip I provided an e-mail address and was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail confirmation of both my rental AND my return.

Although I still prefer a proper video store, the Zip kiosk will definitely do as an interim measure.
 

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Yeah, you'd have to use the video store for older movies if the kiosk doesn't have it.

In the U.S., I use the one called RedBox. Pretty good so far. I noticed the ones in WalMart are blue, however. Since I don't have BR, I only rent regular DVDs.

I also provided an Email and I get receipts that way. Also they send you messages when new movies come out. You can also reserve discs online at pick them up at the kiosk, haven't tried that part yet.
 

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The kiosks are coming ... The kiosks are coming!

There's always been a lot of talk about increasing the DVD/Blu-ray kiosks in Canada, but eventually something goes wrong and the so-called expansion fails to happen, or else the companies flop completely.

Zip is getting ready to push the envelope (groan) with additional kiosks, but my money will be with Redbox once it comes to Canada. God Bless America, while Canada is asleep at the wheel.

The Spot DVD/Blu-ray kiosks were supposed to rock Canada this year, but we'll see what happens come this December with it and the other newcomers and so-called expansion plans of the existing kiosk companies.

I'm not buying into the kiosk hype just yet, but if Redbox shows up here around Christmas time or thereabouts, you can probably kiss the Canadian kiosk competition goodbye. However, the Playdium Movie Magic kiosks seem to have a few titles that the Zip kiosks (and mail service) don't carry, so that might be a good alternative (as more kiosks are added and the Blu-ray testing returns favourable results).

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dvd-rental-kiosks-poised-to-fill-void-left-by-blockbuster-closures-2011-09-06

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Sep 06, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Toronto-based entertainment giant Playdium, today announces the official launch of its "PLAYDIUM MOVIE MAGIC" DVD Rental Kiosk program. A self-service movie and game rental kiosk which replaces conventional brick and mortar rental retail shops. With more than 70 kiosks already deployed throughout the GTA and surrounding areas, movie and game enthusiasts worried about impending local video store closures will not need to look very far for a convenient and cost effective alternative.

Kiosks are located at various retail outlets (including approximately 25 Walmart Supercentres) and allow consumers to rent a DVD movie for only $2 plus tax for a day. Any additional days are charged at $1 plus tax. Kiosk capacity is 625 discs and content is primarily made up of new & recent releases with some classic titles offered.

Playdium Movie Magic began testing DVD kiosks in late 2010 and has been busy rolling out the kiosk program in 2011. Kiosk placements are continuing and Playdium Movie Magic intends to have well over 200 kiosks deployed by early 2012. Blu Ray format is currently being tested at various locations and Playdium Movie Magic will begin testing video game rentals in Q4 of 2011.
http://playdiummoviemagic.com/kiosk-locator/

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http://www.dvdplaycanada.ca/locations/kiosk.html
[None near me]
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http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1049983--vending-machines-give-dvds-new-lease-on-life

Tuesday September 6, 2011

The end of Blockbuster in Canada doesn’t mean the DVD is going the way of the VHS tape.

On Wednesday morning, coinciding with the start of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Ottawa-based movie-rental firm Zip.ca is setting up a trio of DVD rental kiosks in Yonge-Dundas Square.

Featuring the top new releases and what the company calls the Top 200 movies of all time, the 1,020 DVDs inside a red Zip.ca machine can’t offer the breadth of selection of a full-sized Rogers Video or former Blockbuster outlet.

But at $1 (plus HST) per 24-hour period – $2 for new releases and Blu-Ray discs – the cost is anywhere from a quarter to a tenth of a video-store or online rental. Customers are allowed to keep their disc for a maximum of 25 days, with a fresh charge added daily to their credit card. If the rental remains unreturned after this period, Zip.ca adds a penalty charge of $50, plus tax.

A customer can rent a maximum of three movies on a single visit.

Zip.ca currently has 44 working kiosks in Ontario, located inside Metro supermarkets. This is in addition to a movies-by-mail service that has been around for several years.

“We hope to be in 100 Metros by the end of the month, and I want us to be in all 800 of the stores before this time next year,” says Zip.ca chair, Rob Hall, who will be handing out promotional coupons for free rentals in Yonge-Dundas Square.

This is the leading ripple in what could turn into a wave of movie kiosks coming to grocery and convenience stores and grabbing a larger slice of Canada’s $300 million annual video-rental market. Industry researcher Nielsen does not currently publish separate revenue totals for online versus traditional DVD rentals.

“We’ve seen a real surge in calls from investors Canada in the last 40 days,” says Shamira Jaffer, president and CEO of Signifi Solutions, a Toronto-based manufacturer of video-kiosk technology.

Redbox, the leading American brand, is reported to be eyeing expansion into Canada in the coming months.

“This is becoming the norm,” says Jaffer. “I don’t know why it’s taken so long to get into Canada.”

Pete Popcke was a pioneer in the American DVD kiosk business, starting with a company called DVDPlay, which still operates a network of machines at Safeway stores in the greater Vancouver area.

Now he is chief operating officer of Xona Media, a California firm that has developed a DVD kiosk that offers a traditional disc or the option of downloading a movie onto a memory stick or SD memory card.

Even so, Popcke agrees with Jaffer and Hall that the traditional DVD will continue to be commercially viable for five to 10 more years – long enough to make their vending-machines attractive to investors as well as consumers.
 

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Warning: Don't count your kiosks before they're hatched!

Zippy is all smiles about the demise of Blockbuster, but those smiles can easily be turned upside down if we ever get Redbox. We desperately need the Americans (Netflix did it with streaming) to help speed this kiosk transition along, but I still don't see any kiosks with TV series stuff (it's not really a good fit for kiosks, but I would be VERY interested in certain rare titles that even the Public Libraries don't have). If any company has the nerve to try renting TV series DVDs through the kiosks, I would be grateful -- though I'm not holding my breath!

http://www.leaderpost.com/business/slips+movie+rental+left+Blockbuster/5360734/story.html

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

OTTAWA — Zip.ca is rolling out an army of DVD rental kiosks in hopes of capturing the thousands of movie-renting Canadians who find themselves with few places to get their fix once Blockbuster finishes closing its Canadian stores in coming weeks.

According to Rob Hall, chair of Zip.ca, the closure of Blockbuster’s remaining 250 video rental locations across Canada was the perfect opportunity for the Ottawa-based DVD-by-mail company to begin pushing its rental kiosks into stores across the country.

Zip has been testing the red, refrigerator-sized kiosks at a handful of Metro grocery stores in Montreal and Ottawa for months. Demand has been so strong, he said, that Metro has agreed to put kiosks in 800 of its locations across Canada. Hall said he is now looking for other retailers willing to take his machines.

“The announced demise of Blockbuster Canada has a lot of people interested in putting a kiosk in their store,” said Hall. “I can roll them out as fast as I have location providers.

“If you look at the U.S. there are approximately 40,000 to 50,000 kiosks,” he said. “That means Canada should have 4,000 to 5,000 of them. I would be happy to have all 5,000 be Zip.ca kiosks.”

Hall would not say how much Zip.ca is prepared to invest on the in-store kiosk initiative. Zip.ca is privately held and does not have to publicly disclose financial data.


Raymond Pirouz, a part-time lecturer in new media marketing at the Ivey School of Business in the University of Western Ontario, said Zip’s timing couldn’t be better.

“There is an opportunity with Blockbuster out of the way and no one to replace that service,” said Pirouz, “especially with services like Netflix out of reach for most Canadian consumers who can’t afford to pay for the highest speed Internet.”

Zip.ca is also readying an online streaming service, which will compete directly with Netflix. Earlier this year, the company announced the service would soon be available on Samsung brand devices, including TVs and Blu-ray players.

However, the service has not yet emerged. Hall would not comment on the status of the company’s streaming service on Tuesday, and a company official responsible for the service was not available.
 

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Didn't realize Zip had rolled out that many kiosks in Ontario already, thought it was only a handful.
Will have to swing by the Metro nearby to see if they have one.
 

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Free Zip kiosk rental code

I finally got my free Zip kiosk rental code emailed to me, so if you haven't already added your name to the list for this freebie, just go to Zip's kiosk website and ask to be informed when a kiosk opens in your area. A few weeks or months after your area gets one, you'll hopefully get a free DVD rental code emailed to you like I finally did.

I assume the codes will work for the newer $2 titles and the Blu-rays, but I'm not sure. If your code doesn't work at all, just call the phone number on the kiosk and they'll give you a new code.
 

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Spotty at best...

http://www.dunnvillechronicle.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3300781

Blockbuster stores across Canada will be closing soon, but Niagara Falls entrepreneur Pat Cortese isn't ready to give up on DVDs just yet.

In fact, he wants to offer them as easily as you'd buy a Coke from a vending machine. No store, no staff, just a kiosk with all the new releases for $2 each.

The result is Spotbox, a bright orange and white machine at two locations in Niagara Falls so far. Cortese has plans for eight more throughout the region within six months, but for now he's waiting for the idea to catch on.

Since Spotbox first appeared at the end of August, it has averaged about five rentals per day, says Cortese. He expects that to pick up dramatically, in light of Blockbuster shutting its doors soon.

"It's more about people just learning to accept it," he says. "After they've walked by it five times, their curiosity gets the best of them and they want to try it.

The machines currently have about 250 titles each. They have capacity for 1,400.

The city's two kiosks are located at the No Frills plaza on Lundy's Lane, and Dawn's Convenience at Lundy's Lane and Montrose Rd.

The units are located outdoors and have built-in heaters to handle winter.

At the No Frills location, tourist Lunnie Harris of Cincinnati says everyone in the U.S. has heard of Redbox.

"They line up for those things."

Shaking Cortese's hand, he pointed at Spotbox and said "this'll be a million bucks."

Cortese says the DVD format still has at least ten years of life before downloading becomes the dominant way to view movies. Preparing for the future, each Spotbox (price tag: between $15,000 to $20,000) has a built-in flash drive.

He also realizes graffiti and vandalism are "part of the business" when operating any sort of vending machine.

"There's no hotel or restaurant in the world that hasn't been vandalized," he says. "I don't have to really deal with theft … unless they steal the whole machine!"
 

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Chapter 11 for the Spot kiosks

Kiosks are not a sure thing:

http://www.myce.com/news/spot-the-difference-movie-rental-kiosk-owner-files-for-chapter-11-protection-52422/

Public Media Works, the company behind what was to be an honest-to-goodness competitor in the movie rental kiosk market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. Its line of “Spot. the Difference” rental kiosks offered both DVD and Blu-ray movies at lower prices than both Blockbuster Express and market leader Redbox.

Citing an “inability to identify new sources of liquidity necessary to redeploy and market its kiosks,” the company hopes the filing will help it get back on its feet.

“We believe that Chapter 11 is necessary to restructure the Company’s outstanding debt, and establish a sustainable, long-term capital structure for the business,” said Martin W. Greenwald, Public Media Works CEO. “The Company has concluded that it would be unable to secure the financing it requires in the absence of a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization which, if successful, can clean up the Company’s balance sheet.”

Leading up to the filing, the company had attempted to minimize expenses by killing off the “Spot” line, which launched exclusively in California earlier this year. A summer expansion into Vancouver, British Columbia proved unhelpful.
 

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Lots of people have lost their shirt investing in DVD Kiosks. This was to be the next big thing and unfortunatly it was not. I have a friend who invested a significant (7 figures) in a DVD kiosk manufacturing company with the idea of placing these in a range of locations under an owner operated franchise model (She was to sell to franchisees ....).

1) People are not that keen to give up floor space for rev share in kiosk
2) The costs of a Kiosk plus inventory is about 30K and then you need to keep DVD's current
3) The breakdown rates are high due to sophisticated robotics so you are continually repairing the kiosks
4) Credit card fraud is rampant (people buy $20 credit cards and rent 20 Movies never return)
5) all this adds up to a business case that does not work

If you do your homework you will see lots of companies in canada and around the world have lost a lot of money and DVD Kiosk machines are piled up in warehouses.

Word of advice DVD Kiosk market is problematic at best and if your thinking about starting a "Franchise" think again.
 

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^^^^
There was a kiosk in the Loblaws where I shop. I noticed a while ago that it's no longer there. I never had occasion to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Actually I was incorrect on the pricing scheme in my original post -- it was $1 for older movies and $2 for newer ones (regardless of format). It's been a while since I'd rented anything, though, what with the new TV season and all. Things could have changed.
 

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I was excited that there is a Zip kiosk 5 minutes from my house since both the local Blockbuster and Rogers have closed down, but, all 3 times I have tried to use it over a 2 month period, the kiosk software has been frozen and does not respond to user input. I like the ability to look online to see if the kiosk has the movie in-stock before heading out but if I can't use the kiosk when I get there, they won't get my money. In the meantime, the Playstation Network has been getting my business as the cost is what I'm used to from the B&Ms and the convenience is unrivalled.
 

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like Nineball above, I have gone to the closet ZIP kisosk where i live in Brampton........I have gone 6 times and out of those 6 times, 3 times the kisok touch screen is frozen or not working and thus unable to rent.......to have it only working 50% of the time really sucks since I have to drive almost 15 mins to get to it.......i even phone their Customer Service number and tell them that their kisosk is out of operation........of course they just say Thanks and don't offer any coupon........you would think they would have a person driving around just checking them out to make sure they are okay......or someking of indicator inside the machine saying it is "frozen".....becaude when I call they don't even now that it is broken lol......oh well i guess it is new techonology and will take some time to iron out all the kinks......i just hope they put one in the METRO closer to where i live so i dont have to waste my time driving all the time especially when i get their and it is out of order.......
 

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For anyone interested, I've been playing around with a very quick-and-dirty map of DVD kiosks. I've updated it with 4 major kiosk companies:

http://www.dvdinfo.ca/KioskMap.php

I sucked in the locations from their websites, but no guarantees about accuracy or if/when I'll keep updating it.
 
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