Fox to test premium pricing for DVD kiosk rentals starting with 'Knight and Day'
The era of the $1-per-night price for all kiosk DVD rentals may be coming to a fast end.
20th Century Fox has signed a content distribution deal with NCR Corp., which operates DVD kiosks under the well-known Blockbuster brand, that will let it test prices higher than $1 per night for new releases the day they come out on DVD.
In exchange, Fox, which previously didn't have a content deal with NCR, will provide all of its DVDs to be rented, at $1 per night, through Blockbuster kiosks 28 days after they are released.
The deal is similar to one signed between Universal Pictures and NCR last month.
But, although Universal has yet to start testing premium pricing on any of its DVDs in Blockbuster kiosks, the first from Fox has been identified: "Knight & Day," the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz action-comedy that will be released Nov. 30. It will likely be followed "The A-Team," which comes out on DVD on Dec. 14.
An NCR spokesman said the company has yet to determine how high a price would be tested for the Fox movies.
Fox and Universal have for the last year been among the trio of major studios, along with Warner Bros., publicly complaining that the $1-per-night price charged by NCR and its larger competitor, Redbox, are undermining more-profitable DVD sales and video-on-demand rentals.
The initial solution they reached with Redbox was the 28-day delay for new releases. The test of higher prices with NCR represents a different strategy to provide consumers with the latest DVDs in kiosks at a profit level studios find agreeable.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether consumers will find the higher prices agreeable as well.
-- Ben Fritz