Redbox has struck a deal with Universal that will allow it to offer the studio’s movie discs the same day they go on sale in retail stores. The deal eliminates an annoying delay that forced Redbox customers to search for the movie elsewhere or wait nearly a month until it arrived in the rental kiosks. As well, the deal allows Redbox On Demand, the digital service, to offer Universal Pictures movies the day they hit retail stores.
According to Variety, this new deal between the companies will start next month. Until now, and continuing through the next several days, Universal Pictures movies are subjected to a 28-day window between the home release and when the DVDs and Blu-ray disks appear in the Redbox video rental kiosks.
For a company like Redbox, getting the videos when the home release arrives is a major boon; after all, many people have already acquired and watched the movie by the 28-day mark. As well, this business deal underscores a favorable relationship between Redbox and basically every major movie company that isn’t Disney.
Redbox doesn’t have any sort of deal with Disney, resulting in it purchasing Disney movies at retail price. Apparently to help recover those fees, Redbox was selling the digital download codes included with the discs to its customers, giving them a cheap option for essentially buying a digital copy of the movie that undercuts other options.
Disney very quickly took issue with this and slapped Redbox with a lawsuit, pointing out that the disc cases include fine print specifying that the codes are not for sale. Redbox, surprisingly, didn’t immediately relent to the lawsuit, instead indicating that it believes it has a chance to fight back against Disney.