Walmart's VUDU Steps Up Competition in the Streaming Space

9:30 AM PST 07/26/2011 by Carolyn Giardina

Streaming service is now available on Walmart.com, which GM Edward Lichy said attracts 1.5-2 billion visits annually.

Aiming to grow its reach in the streaming business, retail giant Walmart said its VUDU movie streaming service, beginning today, is also available at Walmart.com/vudu.

The company believes the move will drive increased visibility and transactions, as Walmart receives 1.5-2 billion visits annually, according to VUDU general manager Edward Lichty.

"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," he said.

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Walmart.com/vudu will offer the same titles and pricing as that which is available on VUDU. Movie rentals range from  $1.00 -  $5.99, movie purchases from $4.99 - $19.99, VUDU 3D movie rentals from $3.99 - $6.99, and VUDU 3D movie purchases from $11.99 - $21.99.

Purchased movies are available to be viewed on Walmart.com, VUDU.com, or from VUDU-enabled devices, including supported HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and PlayStation3.

Lichy reported that the VUDU customer base has tripled since Christmas (though VUDU didn’t provide specific figures).

He added that VUDU offers more than 20,000 titles and the service has been increasing by thousands each month, particularly in the area of television content. In recent months, VUDU added the first seasons of Glee and Modern Family.

Earlier this month, Netflix upped the price of its unlimited streaming and DVD service from $9.99 to $15.98. Netflix also increased its spending to acquire additional streaming rights to movies and TV programming.

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