Redbox gets swallowed by Chicken Soup For The Soul

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Photo: Justin Sullivan / (Getty Images)

Good news for anyone who wants to see sun-damaged touchscreens come to life with a bit of good cheer: Redbox has just been bought by Chicken Soup For The Soul Entertainment Inc., the company behind eight million pounds of inspirational captions.Reader’s Digest horseshit, and also, for some reason, Crackle—your number 1 streaming home for Joe Dirt 2.

Redbox is, of course, the company that operates all those kiosks that tend to pop up like crimson plastic mushrooms around your various neighborhood supermarkets or drugstores, catering to society deviants who still prefer to acquire media via plastic discs instead of the information highway, despite living in a world where Netflix and its streaming cronies are bent over like beasts, always gorging on video store neck meat classic. The company has reportedly struggled in recent years, likely because, well, its entire business model seems tied to a transition phase in media consumption. (Which means there is a clear advantage to own physical media, of course, but very little benefit, apart from being very cheap to rent, as opposed to just going digital.)

Anyway: the company, which went public last year after a period of ownership by Apollo Global Management, the spooky big conglomerate that also owns AMC Theaters, Yahoo!, Sirius Satellite Radio and a entire a whole lot more stuff – is being acquired by Chicken Soup Entertainment, for $375 million. Which seems like a lot, until you find out that $50 million is chicken soup stock (the financial apparatus, not the consummate base), and the rest was $325 million in Redbox debt. that the company was prepared to assume.

Chicken Soup has seen a series of acquisitions in recent years, including taking over Sony’s Crackle and buying film distribution company Screen Media. They also do pet food! It’s unclear exactly why they want a physical media rental company that has lost both revenue and employees in recent months, but hey: is the power of positive thinking and folkloric anecdotes really something? can’t fix? (Yes, it absolutely is.)

[via Variety]

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