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Winter 2013
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Digiboo kiosk delivers entertainment on the go.

Hoping to replicate the success of home entertainment kiosks like Redbox, Digiboo is bringing movies and television episodes to consumers on the go. The company’s kiosks, which offer instant downloads of films and TV programs, are currently installed at a few airports and test locations in malls and coffee shops.

Digiboo was founded by a group of former entertainment industry executives including Richard Cohen, former MGM Home Entertainment and Consumer Products president, Jeff Karbowiak, Executive Vice President of MGM’s Home Entertainment Group, David Beddow, Chief Technology Officer at Movielink, and Blake Thomas, General Manager of MGM Home Entertainment.

Digiboo3-copy“All of us had worked in home entertainment and in the early digital area, those of us in charge of studio licensing heard every sort of wacky idea about getting movies to people on the go,” says Thomas, Digiboo’s chief marketing officer. “The technology was no good and it was difficult for consumers to execute.”

Cohen and Karbowiak eventually took over a startup called TNR, a competitor to Redbox. The company has since gone away, but in their capacity at TNR the pair heard more ideas from people who wanted to download digital movies from kiosks.

Digiboo launched officially in May 2012 and has seen thousands of downloads from the 35 to 40 kiosks currently in the market. “The technology got to the point where it could be done seamlessly and easily and in a way that worked for our customers,” Thomas says.

How it works

The Digiboo kiosk offers about 800 movies and 200 TV episodes to download, with expanded TV offerings now in the works. The touch-screen interface changes every week to show the new titles available. All the movies are stored on hard drives in the kiosk, which means it can never run out of a movie—like competitors’ kiosks can—and there is nothing to return since the program is downloaded straight to the customer’s digital device.

Movies cost $14.99 to purchase. New movies are $3.99 to rent and older movies are $2.99 to rent. TV episodes can only be purchased for $1.99, not rented. Customers have 30 days to begin watching a movie rental and once they do, have 48 hours to finish before the download expires.

Once the customer chooses a film and makes a credit card payment, the TV episode or movie can be downloaded either wirelessly or by inserting a USB into the machine. Downloading takes anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes, depending on the method used and type of device, i.e.; phone, computer or tablet.

If customers have a problem with the download process, there’s an email and toll-free number on the kiosk for customer service plus a live chat feature on the website. “Our priority is making sure our customers are happy, and our agents are trained to walk them through the download or to give a refund immediately—sometimes both,” Thomas says.

Digiboo is planning to expand outside of airports. Spots with heavy concentrations of travelers and college student populations, will be another focus.

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Locations

At each airport where Digiboo operates, there are about a dozen kiosks located throughout the various terminals. “Every airport has its own distinct character so we hand-select locations as best as we can so they’re highly visible and in areas with significant traffic,” says Thomas, Digiboo’s chief marketing officer. “Being past security checkpoints is important. When you get to the airport you’re not doing anything until you’re past security.”

As for the mall and coffee shop test locations, Digiboo has installed only one kiosk at each business in order to gauge how well the space works.

The kiosk itself stands about two-and-a-half feet tall and a foot deep and can be mounted in a wall, placed atop a special pedestal or on a counter. Most locations have the kiosk mounted on the pedestal, making it about four-and-a-half feet tall.

“We wanted to create a small footprint so it could be put within a retail environment in a lot of different ways,” Thomas says.

When it comes to traffic, Thomas says it varies widely by location and by age of kiosk – the newest kiosks have lower volume because it takes time for customers to encounter them and get used to them.

“Each location has pros and cons,” Thomas says. “One of the things airports have going for them is tons of traffic. What is more of a challenge in airports is building repeat purchases. In places like malls or coffee shops the traffic is much lower but the opportunity to build brand connections is greater because of the repeat business.”

For more information, please visit digiboo.com.

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