In an effort to strengthen its streaming video presence, Walmart has now put the digital service on its main website.
Walmart purchased video streaming company Vudu early last year but has largely kept it running the same way as it had been before the buyout, practically as a completely different company.
Now, however, it has finally decided to bring the content directly to Walmart.com to appeal to the millions of customers who visit the site.
The service offers more than 20,000 titles and range from 99 cents to about $6 for a limited-access movie rental, or up to $15 to purchase a digital movie with lifetime access.
Vudu currently exists in many of the same places as rival services like Netflix and Hulu – that is, users can download apps for their Internet-connected TVs, PS3s, set-top boxes, etc, to watch the movies directly on the big screen.
Vudu also claims to offer the largest selection of HD movies available for a pay-per-view streaming video service. It is seen as the standout player in what many consider a dying breed – the pay-per-view model. Netflix has a lot more traction because of its low price and the “all you can eat” structure of its service.
Netflix just raised subscription fees for customers who want to have access to both digital streaming and DVD-by-mail rentals, which has understandably angered a good chunk of its customer base. Now may be the perfect time for a company like Walmart to strengthen its streaming video chops and try to rope in some of Netflix’s disgruntled users.
Then again, with 22.8 million subscribers in the US, Netflix is quite a force to be reckoned with.