WBEZ | RedBox http://www.wbez.org/tags/redbox Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Conservative group targets clean energy as a key issue http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-10/morning-shift-conservative-group-targets-clean-energy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover Flickr Snurb.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk to Young Conservatives for Energy Reform to learn what energy reform looks like for them. Also, we talk with the director of a new documentary chronicling the life of pin-up icon Bettie Page.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-conservative-group-targets-clean-ene/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-conservative-group-targets-clean-ene.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-conservative-group-targets-clean-ene" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Conservative group targets clean energy as a key issue" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-10/morning-shift-conservative-group-targets-clean-energy Redbox kiosks start rolling out tickets to live events http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/redbox-kiosks-start-rolling-out-tickets-live-events-102922 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/5009747869_5da9492927_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Redbox is hoping to turn its kiosks at grocery stores and fast food joints into mini ticket counters nationwide.</p><p>The company added tickets to live events and performances in Philadelphia to its kiosks&rsquo; inventories and online this week. Redbox Tickets is a pilot program, but the Oakbrook Terrace-based company said it could make its way to other cities nationwide.</p><p>Redbox President Anne Saunders said the tickets cost their face value (or less) plus a $1 service fee. She thinks they could bring new audiences to neighborhood venues.</p><p>&ldquo;This gives all of those venue operators and artists an opportunity to market to local customers in a way they didn&rsquo;t have before,&rdquo; Saunders said.</p><p>Redbox rented to nearly 59 million people every month during its second quarter, Saunders said.</p><p>The kiosks in Philadelphia are already dispensing tickets to Villanova football games and a Carrie Underwood concert &ndash; for a $1 fee. That&rsquo;s lower than dominant ticket sites like Ticketmaster, which holds contracts with venues across the country.</p><p>Jerry Mickelson is co-founder of Chicago-based concert promoter, Jam Productions. He said Jam, which rents concert venues, has no control over where tickets are sold because those venues have contracts with ticketing companies. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Ticketmaster has so many venues under contract,&rdquo; Mickelson said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s what will determine what Redbox can do to compete.&rdquo;</p><p>But Redbox&rsquo;s Saunders said the company doesn&rsquo;t see those ticketing sites as competition.</p><p>She said they would &ldquo;love to work with Ticketmaster&rdquo; or anyone interested in selling through Redbox, as long as they agree to the $1 service fee.</p></p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 21:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/redbox-kiosks-start-rolling-out-tickets-live-events-102922 Redbox concert tickets a red herring http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-10/redbox-concert-tickets-red-herring-102899 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1redbox.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>Coinstar, the company behind those ubiquitous Redbox kiosks that have cornered the DVD rental market and driven many a Blockbuster franchisee and mom-and-pop video store to close their doors, is getting a lot of attention for a new plan to start selling tickets for a $1 fee to live events, including concerts.</p><p>According to <em><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443493304578034863064068522.html">The Wall Street Journal</a></em>, the company is starting slowly with a limited number of events in one test market, Philadelphia, including a Carrie Underwood concert at the Wells Fargo Center Arena, Villanova University football games and Nascar at the Pocono Raceway.</p><p>Writes <em>Journal </em>reporter Ethan Smith: &ldquo;The promise of just $1 in service fees is clearly a swipe at <a href="http://online.wsj.com/public/quotes/main.html?type=djn&amp;symbol=LYV">Live Nation Entertainment</a> Inc.&rsquo;s Ticketmaster, the dominant force in the industry whose fees can tack on several dollars to the price of a ticket. Those ticketing fees have long been a sore point among some fans.&rdquo;</p><p>A sore point indeed, but Smith is off on the &ldquo;several dollars&rdquo;: In many cases, the perversely named Ticketmaster &ldquo;convenience fee&rdquo; can be $15, $25, $40 or more.</p><p>Don&rsquo;t expect to see Redbox seriously encroaching on Live Nation/Ticketmaster&rsquo;s business, here or anywhere else, however. What the company&rsquo;s plan really is about is a penny-wise, pound-foolish scheme that most smart promoters loathe: papering the house.</p><p>Let&rsquo;s say that, through a combination of poor market research, setting the wrong price point, booking a venue that&rsquo;s too big for an artist to fill and rampant greed on the part of the promoter and artist&rsquo;s management, tickets to a concert aren&rsquo;t selling and the house only will be a third full or less at show time.</p><p>In the days or sometimes hours before show time, the desperate promoter sometimes will dump the unsold tickets on radio stations or anyone else willing to just give them away. The artist doesn&rsquo;t see any profit from those seats, but at least they&rsquo;re playing to a few more warm bodies. The promoter doesn&rsquo;t get any cut of the ticket either, but it still cashes in by collecting a parking fee and perhaps selling overpriced beer and nachos to the &ldquo;lucky&rdquo; concertgoers.</p><p>Again, smart promoters loathe this practice because it ultimately devalues the concert experience and the worth of tickets that have been priced correctly. (How angry is the consumer who paid full price when he or she learns that the next person got in for free?) Chicago-based Jam Productions, for example, almost never papers the house. But the local office of Live Nation/Ticketmaster certainly does, especially for dud shows booked into large, unpopular and inconvenient venues such as its First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park and Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island.</p><p>Live Nation/Ticketmaster declined to comment for <em>The Wall Street Journal </em>and other stories. But it&rsquo;s not likely to partner with Coinstar/Redbox, since it likes to keep its dubious money-making schemes in-house and since, as Smith pointed out, the fact that Redbox can sell a ticket (even a worthless one) for a mere $1 fee only will raise questions and ire among consumers who deeply resent paying those ungodly steep Ticketmaster fees.</p><p>Remember, too, that Live Nation/Ticketmaster has locked most major venues like the United Center and the Allstate Arena here and in countless other markets into long-term exclusivity agreements that restrict them to selling tickets only through Ticketmaster. (Though, controversially and infamously, this was not enough of a monopolistic and unfair practice for the Obama Justice Department to block the mega-merger of those two companies.)</p><p>The test-market Underwood show in Philadelphia is taking place at a non-Live Nation/Ticketmaster venue (Comcast owns the arena), though her tour is being promoted by Live Nation/Ticketmaster&rsquo;s biggest national competitor, AEG&mdash;and that company is <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443995604578004821257551236.html">having some serious troubles of late</a> and may not be much of a player much longer. Knowledgeable industry observers say the Redbox plan probably never will catch on in a big way with concert tickets, though it might have legs in the theater world, a la the long-running <a href="http://www.tdf.org/TDF_ServicePage.aspx?id=56">TKTS</a> booth in New York&rsquo;s Times Square.</p><p>Theatergoers tend to be an older demographic that likes a paper ticket in hand, and theater engagements are long-term affairs, rather than one night only. Yet whatever they&rsquo;re dispensing, those Redbox kiosks are a temporary and transitional technology: Everything they&rsquo;re doing ultimately will migrate to the Web. It&rsquo;s only a matter of time before they disappear just like video stores did, once Big Hollywood finally overcomes its reticence and fully embraces streaming video beyond the point where Netflix and On Demand have taken it.</p></p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-10/redbox-concert-tickets-red-herring-102899 Navigating the streams of home entertainment media http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-02/navigating-streams-home-entertainment-media-93686 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-02/Laura Fries.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Home entertainment morphed into a strange new beast in recent years. The television remained the pride of place in many living rooms but how consumers got their media has changed quite a bit. From <a href="http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/index.jsp" target="_blank">Direct TV</a> to <a href="https://www.netflix.com/Default?CREATIVE=n&amp;KID=k237285&amp;USERID=578334320&amp;SESSIONID=id_578334321&amp;TACID=" target="_blank">Netflix</a> and <a href="http://www.hulu.com/" target="_blank">Hulu</a>, content was everywhere and in multiple formats. The jockeying for position could be seen across different companies. Netflix fared badly after a plan to split its DVD subscription and online streaming services into separate entities. Meanwhile, Oakbrook Terrace-based <a href="http://www.redbox.com/" target="_blank">RedBox</a> capitalized on that poor decision by building its DVD rental services. So what did it all add up to? <a href="http://www.communications.northwestern.edu/faculty/index.php?PID=MaxDawson&amp;type=alpha" target="_blank">Max Dawson</a> of <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/" target="_blank">Northwestern University</a> joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the industry. Dawson studies the history of television and new media formats, and he is a faculty member in the Department of Radio, Television and Film at Northwestern’s <a href="http://www.communications.northwestern.edu/" target="_blank">School of Communication</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-02/navigating-streams-home-entertainment-media-93686