Wal-Mart Hopes Third Time a Charm in Movie Rentals
Back in 2005, Wal-Mart Stores decided its venture to rent
movies online wasn’t going where it wanted so it made a deal to move its 100,000
or so subscribers to Netflix, which, in turn, sent its subscribers back to
Walmart.com if they were looking to buy DVDs.
In 2007, the retailer took another
shot at the movie rental business using a download service with Hewlett-Packard.
That test was finished inside of a year of getting its start.
is hoping the third time’s a charm with the acquisition of Vudu, which uses
digital technology inside set top boxes and blu ray players to allow downloads
for either purchase or rental. Vudu has licensing deals with almost all the
major studios as well as independents, giving customers access to roughly 16,000
titles. The company charges $19.99 to own recently released films and $3.99
“The real winner here is the customer,” Eduardo
Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Wal-Mart, said in a press release. “Combining
Vudu’s unique digital technology and service with Wal-Mart’s retail expertise
and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment
options as they migrate to a digital environment.”
“We are excited about the opportunity
to take our company’s vision to the next level,” said Edward Lichty, Vudu executive
vice president. “Vudu’s services and Apps platform will give Walmart a powerful
new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands
the frontier of quality, value and convenience.”
Vudu apps allow consumers to
receive hundreds of streaming applications and services to their TVs
and Blu-ray players that are connected to the internet. The company has partnered
with companies including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The
New York Times and The Associated Press on the service.
Discussion Questions: Will Wal-Mart Stores’
purchase of Vudu make it a force in the movie rental business? Will it
speed the move away from physical DVD rentals to online downloads?
Announces Acquisition of Digital Entertainment Provider, VUDU – Wal-Mart
- Walmart to buy film download provider – Financial Times
- Wal-Mart acquires online movie service Vudu – Los Angeles Times