Looks like Redbox, that well-recognized kiosk-based purveyor of discount video rentals, will be taking on a new bargain feature: ticket sales. With an initial rollout in Philadelphia, the company will be equipping select machines in this test market to sell tickets to live events, all for a rock-bottom service fee of $1.
And why not? You could pick up tickets to that show you’ve been wanting to see while you’re waiting for your burger combo or filling that prescription. That seems pretty handy, particularly at this price point… or at least it would be, if not for two things: First of all, in-demand or front-row tickets won’t be available through Redbox, so you can forget orchestra seats to “Book of Mormon” or watching the NFL game from the fifty-yard line. (It will be more like mediocre seats at the Villanova game or a maybe even a Carrie Underwood concert.)
Then there’s procurement. You can’t actually get the paper tickets from these machines. You can pay at the kiosk (or the Redbox website), but you still have to print it out yourself at home or choose will-call/box-office pickup.
All of this would seem unreasonable, if it weren’t for the fact that the transaction fee’s only a buck. I could see plenty of people going this route to save a few dollars as well as some time, since certain local shows may not even be available without waiting in some box-office line.
What do you think? Would you be tempted to hit up a Redbox ticket, even with these downsides? Or are you more likely to use a higher-priced vendor like Ticketmaster for better seats and more shows?