Walmart Aims to Make Digital Copies of Movies More Accessible

Walmart Logo - H 2012

Walmart Logo - H 2012

Walmart is launching a beta version of a new service dubbed InstaWatch that is aimed at helping consumers more easily access digital copies of movies that they buy through the retail giant.

With the service, consumers can use the Walmart mobile app to scan their receipt when they purchase a Blu-Ray or DVD at Walmart stores, or enter a receipt number for purchases from, and have the digital copy go immediately into their library in Walmart’s streaming service Vudu. The company said the service supports UltraViolet copies, but is designed to be format-agnostic.

Even though these digital copies have been sold with DVDs and Blu-rays for three years, "we hear that a very small percentage of customers who purchase a movie with a digital copy redeem it," said Gibu Thomas, senior vp, mobile and digital, for Walmart Global E-Commerce. “We think that’s unacceptable. They’re not getting the full value of the movie purchase.”

Walmart thinks the InstaWatch model can start to change that scenario. At launch, 800 packaged media titles (and 1,100 offered online), including Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, will be available through InstaWatch, supported by partnerships with DreamWorks Home Entertainment, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Media, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video.

Disney — also the only major studio that is not a member of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium that developed cloud-based digital rights system UltraViolet — is absent from the list of partners.

Read more Redbox Ending Instant Streaming Service

Twitter: @CGinLA