Vudu Becoming Available on iPad

Wal-Mart's digital movie service will be available via a browser, not an app.

Vudu, Wal-Mart's digital movie service, is becoming available on iPad starting this week, but not as an app, according to published reports.

Vudu said that iPad owners will be able to access the service through their browsers and can rent or purchase from more than 20,000 movies and TV shows.

The process will work the same as on a PC, where movies are available to rent for 99 cents to $5.99 or to buy starting at $4.99. Movies bought or rented on the iPad can also be watched on, or on any Vudu-enabled consumer electronics device, including the Sony PlayStation3 and certain Internet-connected high-def TVs and Blu-ray Disc players.

Vudu GM Edward Lichty said one of the reasons for not making Vudu available as an app was purely because it would be "economically favorable" to the company not to do so.

He added that Vudu also keeps a level of autonomy over its service rather than having to submit to Apple's App Store approval process when making changes.

Wal-Mart acquired Santa Clara, Calif.-based Vudu in March 2010 for about $100 million. The service has distribution deals with entertainment companies including the Walt Disney Co., Fox, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Sony and Paramount.

The news comes the same day Wal-Mart announced it would be closing its MP3 download store at the end of the month.