First DVDs, then coffee, and as recently as last week, streaming video.

Now, Redbox is entering the live event arena. The unit of Bellevue-based Coinstar is now offering tickets to concerts and sporting events for an added fee of that all-too-familiar price of $1.

The catch is that the tickets will be for the “cheap-seats,” otherwise known as the nosebleeds. Redbox hopes to solve a common problem for venues that struggle to get rid of the often-unsold, lower-end seats.

Buyers will pay a ticket price that’s face-value or cheaper, tax and the $1 fee. They can pick their event at a kiosk and then either print the tickets at home or pick them up at the venue.

I checked out the feature on the new Redbox Tickets website. There are five event categories: family, sports, music, theater & arts, and other. I scoped out some tickets to an upcoming Carrie Underwood concert — certainly the first time I’ve tried this — and found several offerings. Redbox gave me the section and row, but then only a “seat range,” of anywhere from 1-6 to 1-22. At checkout, I had to pay a ticket tax and the $1 Redbox fee.

This new service is available now exclusively in the Philadelphia-area, with tickets for the Philadelphia Film Festival, Carrie Underwood, NASCAR races and Villanova University sports events all on sale. Redbox plans to expand the new offering to Los Angeles by early 2013.

The move by Redbox is somewhat similar to Blockbuster’s attempt to sell Live Nation tickets in 500 of their stores four years ago. It could also be threat to Ticketmaster, who has a strong hold on the online-ticket purchasing market.

Coinstar has a market value of $1.6 billion. With this new feature and the way Redbox is expanding quickly, will Amazon partner up with Coinstar?

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