With all the buzz around content streaming, it's easy to overlook Redbox, pioneer of the $1-a-night DVD rental. What began as an experimental subsidiary of Coinstar in 2004 has evolved into one of the company's biggest money makers, so much so that it raised forecasts for its first quarter 2012 earnings, driven by larger-than-expected customer interest in Redbox. To get there, Davis fought several hard-won legal battles with movie studios concerned that the company would further eat away at DVD sales. And expect the Redbox business to expand even further thanks to the $100 million acquisition of NCR Corp.'s entertainment business, the unit behind the Blockbuster Express brand, as well a new streaming service in partnership with Verizon, due out the second half of this year, that could give Netflix's own instant service a run for its money.
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