UK follows the States as automated kiosks roll out to become the 'third way' for DVD rentals

They're proving to be a runaway success in the United States, where over 9,000 DVD vending machines have sprung up in outlets like Wal-Mart's and McDonalds. Now the concept is set to take off here, with Tesco among retailers trialling the 'MovieBooth' concept.

The kiosks, which each hold 621 DVDs, are touchscreen-operated and work on a pay-as-you-go basis; when you return the film, your card is debited £2 for every 24 hours you've kept the DVD, up to 21 days.

"The DVD rental market has faced big changes in recent years," says Carlos Marco Rider, the young entrepreneur behind the MovieBooth concept. "By eliminating space and staffing costs, our kiosks can offer the most competitive DVD rental prices in the UK and Ireland."

But while bricks-and-mortar rental businesses like Blockbuster continue to struggle, online-only models such as are still reaping the rewards of a changing rental market, renting over 2.5 million DVDs per month to 600,000 active subscribers.

However, both delivery methods could still be trounced by VoD (video on demand) services, should the infrastructure (bandwidth, optical cabling) ever improve to a point where uptake becomes possible for more than a lucky few. Watch this space...

More after the break