Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walmart to Acquire VUDU for Movie Streaming

Walmart has agreed to acquire VUDU, a start-up that streams movies to US viewers. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.

VUDU initially started offering its movie service through it own set-top box, but has moved to a new distribution model whereby its service application is built into broadband-ready TVs and Blu-ray players. Customers with broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready TV or Blu-ray player can rent or purchase movies, typically in high-definition, without needing a connected computer or cable/satellite service. The company has also been building partnerships to offer applications on its platform including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

VUDU has licensing agreements with major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors. Its library includes approximately 16,000 movies. including many in 1080p.

Walmart said its size and retail expertise would help grow the VUDU service.

  • In 2007, Wal-Mart launched its own video download service, but later withdrew it from the market.

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