Why I’m Keep An Eye on Coinstar

I’m keeping an eye on Coinstar because they seem to know where the money is.

Yes, it’s a lame joke that is, and I admit this, based on those green kiosks you see everywhere.  You know the ones, where you dump in that big pile of change you’ve accumulated and get a receipt of some kind (or even convert it to cards).  They’re everywhere it seems (especially out here in Silicon Valley), with that big Coinstar logo.

Not that geeky?  Well remember Coinstar is just part of Coinstar Incorporated.

Coinstar Inc.doesn’t just do those prominent Mean Green Machines though.  They do cards, e-payment kiosks, and so forth as part of their brand.  Neat stuff, sure, but you see it everywhere, right?

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And It Continues: Verizon Teams Up With Redbox

Fusing FIOS streaming with Redbox?  Sounds like a plan.

So here's another major entrant in the video wars.  FIOS has barely been on my radar as it seemed to be another effort, so maybe I better start paying attention.

Mostly this seems to be a useful joint venture to do more for Redbox and give Verizon more options.  However I don't see this remaining joint forever – I see it being adsorbed into Verizon or spun off somehow.  It's still a bit experimental.

So my take?

  • This makes perfect sense as Verizon clearly wants to be far more than a carrier, and Redbox probably wants the insurance.
  • I don't see this yielding many employment opportunities short-term.  It has to gear up, it feels like an experiment, so I'm not seeing any significant opportunities.
  • Much as it seemed to be de rigeur to create a music service awhile ago, now it seems everyone wants a video service.  As companies with properties are probably not too fussy about allowing content out (for a price), at least short term it may make sense.
  • I actually think this competition is good right now – it shakes things up and forces others to rethink things.  What else might be inspired by this should be watched.

– Steven Savage