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The Wall Street Journal reports that Coinstar plans to use its Redbox kiosks to sell event tickets with just a $1 fee added.

According to the story, "The initiative doesn't mean shoppers will be able to pick up front-row Madonna tickets along with a quart of milk at the supermarket. Instead, Redbox is likely to offer tickets that might not sell otherwise, such as nosebleed seats for concerts that aren't sold out."

The story goes on: "Redbox is starting with a limited number of events, all in a single market, Philadelphia, where it is selling seats for a Nov. 28 Carrie Underwood show at the Wells Fargo Center arena. Redbox executives declined to say how many of the venue's 19,500 seats they would be selling ... The company also is selling tickets for Villanova University football games and Nascar races at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa."

According to the piece, "The ticket industry has grappled for years with the question of what to do with tickets that haven't sold by the time an event starts. Giving them away or selling them for a discount is one obvious way to get some return on an otherwise unsold and wasted ticket. But event promoters are wary that training customers to wait for last-minute discounts could undermine the value of their tickets."

This is just one of two Coinstar initiatives in the news. At the same time, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that the company "is turning its formula on the coffee market, installing dispensers to pump out cheap, fresh-brewed mochas and lattes at the corner store. The bright red Rubi box, occupying 9 square feet and standing 81 inches high, grinds arabica beans from Starbucks Corp..'s Seattle’s Best brand on the spot and brews a fresh 12-or 16-ounce cup of java through a press in 1 minute. The company is testing 12 drinks and will settle on seven, including hot chocolate, priced at $1 to $2 each."

And, Bloomberg writes, "Coinstar is trying to break into the $28.5 billion out-of- home coffee market by offering convenience and a low price: features that made Redbox the largest U.S. DVD rental service and drove Blockbuster Inc. into bankruptcy two years ago. The goal is to expand the premium market by serving coffee where it isn’t now, including drug stores and big-box retailers."
KC's View:
You have to love the way Coinstar comes to market - identifying opportunities, trying new things, and creating business models that have the potential for disrupting what other companies are doing.