Redbox CEO Galen Smith, As IPO Approaches, Talks About The “Epiphany” Of Combining Streaming Growth With Physical Kiosks

When Redbox was founded in 2002, video rental rival Blockbuster had thousands of global stores and Netflix was still sending its customers DVDs through the mail.

Two decades later, streaming is the universal mantra and Darwinian law is starting to assert itself, but Redbox CEO Galen Smith has presided over one of the industry’s most unique balancing acts. The company still operates 40,000 disc-dispensing kiosks, a physical base larger than that of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. But it has also been steadily expanding into areas like transactional video on demand and free, ad-supported streaming, as well as setting up a division that acquires and co-finances a growing slate of original films.

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