Redbox went from duking it out with Warner in 2012 over a proposed 56-day delay for rentals to cutting a deal for a shorter 28-day delay and implementing UltraViolet support in Redbox Intant, and now the relationship is getting even cozier. Parent company Outerwall announced its earnings today and that Mark Horak, president of the Americas for Warner Bros. since 2008, will be the new president of Redbox. A "leadership transition" saw former president Anne Saunders leave in December, and Outerwall CEO J. Scott Di Valerio cited Horak's experience and relationships "growing DVD, Blu-ray, video game and digital sale" as reasons he's perfect for the spot he's taking over on March 17th. Other than executive changes at Outerwall's other businesses (Coinstar and ecoATM), we're not seeing any immediate changes, and Redbox's most recent numbers seem on track, with revenue for Q4 that was slightly higher than the same period last year.
The most important new business is the Redbox Instant streaming/kiosk combo effort, although it hasn't gained much traction yet against competitors like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Plus and Netflix. The company says Redbox Instant activity increased as it launched on new platforms like Windows Phone, Xbox One and PS4, but it still didn't have any exact data to share. As far as disc rentals Redbox is focusing on Blu-ray now, since 55 percent of its rental customers have a Blu-ray player. It's already trying to upsell customers to more expensive rentals on its website and app, and plans to roll that out directly on the kiosks soon. The investor call didn't reveal much in the way of a new direction for Redbox, but we're hoping the next step is squeezing a dedicated rental return slot onto the boxes.