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Walmart Launches Video Streaming Service

Tuesday Walmart officially entered the video streaming market by opening the doors to its long-awaited digital video service, powered by VUDU. Walmart purchased the Silicon Valley startup early last year in hopes to compete with Netflix, Amazon, Google, iTunes and other online movie rental services. Terms of the acquisition weren't provided, but the purchase was estimated to be over $100 million.

According to Walmart, customers can now shop for thousands of digital VUDU titles – including new releases – and purchase and/or rent them directly on Walmart.com at www.walmart.com/vudu. Video playback will require one of 300 VUDU-enabled devices including HDTVs, Blue-ray Disc players and the PlayStation 3 console. Consumers can also stream video to their desktop or laptop although playback quality will be locked to Standard Definition (SD).

"At Walmart, one of our key priorities is to provide a continuous channel for our customers, from our stores to our powerful e-commerce and social media platforms," said Steve Nave, SVP and general manager, Walmart.com. "With VUDU becoming increasingly popular among our customers, we’re providing them more access to enjoy this digital entertainment experience directly online at Walmart.com."

When customers shop for movies or TV episodes at Walmart.com, they now have the option to select the digital VUDU title and/or the physical title (DVD or Blu-ray Disc). Those who select the digital title complete their transaction through Walmart.com’s checkout, and then can stream the movie directly from Walmart.com, VUDU.com, or a VUDU-enabled device.

Walmart couldn't have launched its streaming service at a better time, as last week Netflix announced that it was essentially raising the price of its rental service 60-percent, splitting video streaming and DVD rentals into two separate plans of $7.99 each. Long-standing customers lashed out at the company, many of which threatened to -- or actually followed through with -- canceling their account.

But unlike Netflix, Walmart won't offer monthly plans. Twenty-four hour rentals will span in price from $0.99 to $5.99, depending on the quality and current promotion. As an example, Battle: Los Angeles costs $3.99 to rent the SD version, $4.99 for the HD version (720p), and $5.99 for the HDX version (1080p). Digital movie purchases typically cost up to $14.99 for standard versions. All digital rental versions become available the same day DVD versions are released. Some titles are even $2 for two nights.

"This integration allows us to introduce more Walmart.com customers to digital entertainment and give them access to thousands of new release and popular movie titles immediately through VUDU’s high-quality streaming service," said Edward Lichty, general manager, VUDU. "By incorporating digital movie content into the Walmart.com entertainment shopping experience, we’re enabling customers to easily choose how they want to enjoy their entertainment content – whether that be through a physical DVD, digital streaming or both."

VUDU offers 20,000 titles spanning across the theater and TV including Rango, Tron Legacy, Walking Dead, House, Being Human and loads more.

  • JohnnyLucky
    How many video streaming services are there now?
    Reply
  • sunflier
    But unlike Netflix, Walmart won't offer monthly plans. Twenty-four hour rentals will span in price from $0.99 to $5.99, depending on the quality and current promotion. As an example, Battle: Los Angeles costs $3.99 to rent the SD version, $4.99 for the HD version (720p), and $5.99 for the HDX version (1080p). Digital movie purchases typically cost up to $14.99 for standard versions. All digital rental versions become available the same day DVD versions are released. Some titles are even $2 for two nights.
    All newcomers start out by offering seemingly low prices. That is until they get too many customers and have to raise prices to "handle the demand". Netflix, case in point.
    Reply
  • jackbling
    With all the red tape associated and forced by the mpaa/studios, this seems like a tough market in which to get a foothold. There is just too much greed in the industry, as netflix found out.

    Studios want top dollar for titles like Beverly Hills Cop despite having loooong since made their money; they saw netflix making some money, and suddenly realized they could demand whatever price they wanted, leaving netflix no option but to increase prices and pay what the studios wanted, or offer less streaming content, both options lose customers.

    Blockbuster is sending out the "tired of seeing red" emails, but i just cant imagine how any company can compete with even netflix's increased prices, for an extened period of time. Once a studio get $1.00 per stream(arbitrary number for example) they arent gonna charge the next guy $0.75; more than likely they will push for $1.25.

    That being said, i am too lazy for the netflix rentals anyway, i only subscribe to the streaming service, and im still pretty happy with the price/convenience ratio.

    For the price of renting the above exampled Battle for Los Angelos twice, you can pay for one month of netflix's streaming service which has the aforementioned movie and many many others; how do you market this service? Seems like a money pit for walmart, but i guess they can afford it.
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    /feed the troll - My netflix bill just went down by $2 a month.

    Who would pay $6 to watch a movie the day it comes out, when they can pay $10 and buy the DVD, or 10$/ month and just copy the DVD when it arrives via netflix? The only people that would want a pay as you go plan, are those that watch one movie a month. Everyone else will use Hulu or Netflix. epic fail, just like google movies
    Reply
  • jayb10
    "Twenty-four hour rentals will span in price from $0.99 to $5.99," That doesn't seem very cheap to me. It would cost more to watch a whole season of just one tv show at .99 an episode than it would for a month of streaming Netflix.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    Water sucks, Netflix rules.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    This pricing on this sucks donkey balls. I may as well just pay Dish Network for video on demand, oh wait........that sucks donkey balls too so never-mind.
    Reply
  • warmon6
    JohnnyLuckyHow many video streaming services are there now?
    there just over 9000..... not really that many. :lol:
    Reply
  • dayblade
    Very odd to have the "standard" price streaming of their example @ $3.99. Wasn't that the same pricing model the old BlockBusters and Hollywood Videos used to have?
    Reply
  • cobra5000
    And with Redbox rentals @ .99c why bother with wally-world.
    Reply