Walmart puts Vudu on its main site to drive use

CHICAGO Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:14am EDT

Shopping carts are seen outside a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coolidge, Arizona December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

Shopping carts are seen outside a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coolidge, Arizona December 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Lott

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is moving its Vudu video streaming and rental service to a place where it can get attract more eyeballs -- the Walmart.com web site -- as the growing service competes for attention with a variety of video services.

Adding Vudu to the main Wal-Mart site is the latest way the world's largest retailer is trying to be the go-to destination for shoppers, both in stores and, increasingly, online.

Vudu, which Wal-Mart bought last year, streams films and shows to computers, certain televisions, Blu-ray DVD players and Sony Corp's Playstation 3.

Wal-Mart declined to say how many people use its service, which does not offer monthly subscriptions like competitors such as Netflix Inc, although it did say Vudu continues to grow rapidly.

"Our user base has tripled since Christmas," said Edward Lichty, Vudu's general manager, who added that Walmart shoppers are a growing part of Vudu's business.

Before Tuesday, Vudu essentially operated on its own. Now, shoppers browsing Walmart's website (www.walmart.com/ or www.walmart.com/vudu) can order a DVD sent to their home or to a store for pickup and can also rent or buy releases digitally and stream them directly from Walmart.com.

These days, video streaming is picking up steam as people use computers, cellphones and tablets such as Apple Inc's iPad to buy and watch movies and television shows.

Netflix added 1.8 million subscribers during the second quarter, but sees its U.S. subscriber base shrinking this quarter after it made pricing changes that sparked outrage.

Amazon.com Inc, the biggest Internet retailer, just licensed thousands of television shows from CBS Corp.

Adding Vudu to Walmart's site may chip away at DVD sales, once a big revenue generator for Walmart stores. Still, studios are supportive of the Vudu business as "they certainly see the future in digital," said Lichty.

"You can't get movies any earlier than you can get them on Vudu," Lichty said.

Vudu's movie rentals cost $1 to $5.99, or $3.99 to $6.99 for 3D titles. Buying movies costs $4.99 to $19.99 for regular titles and $11.99 to $21.99 for 3D movies.

"Our value proposition is to be the price leader in an industry and it's no different in this business," said Steve Nave, president of Walmart.com. "We will always make sure that we're the price leader so if a competitor does something we'll make sure that we're still leading."

Netflix now charges a $7.99 monthly fee for streaming.

Blockbuster Inc has launched an aggressive campaign to lure Netflix subscribers, offering them the chance to rent unlimited DVDs by mail and trade them in for new movies in stores.

Walmart would not say whether it would make a bid for Hulu, the online video site that Walt Disney Co, News Corp, Comcast Corp's NBC Universal and Providence Equity Partners have put up for sale. Netflix said on Monday it would not bid for the rival.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart's vice chairman for eCommerce and sourcing, hinted at a Vudu service designed for the iPad in a recent presentation, but the company did not confirm any such plans.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; additional reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles, Liana B. Baker in New York and Alistair Barr in San Francisco; editing by Andre Grenon)

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Comments (2)
madmilker wrote:
Vudu video streaming…on the web page.

duh! how about over 95% Made In America in their stores in the United States like they put over 95% Made In China in their stores in China.

On Wal*Mart’s China web page under “About Us.”

“Walmart China firmly believes in local sourcing. We have established partnerships with nearly 20,000 suppliers in China. Over 95% of the merchandise in our stores in China is sourced locally. Meanwhile, Walmart is committed to local talent development and diversity, especially the cultivation and full utilization of female staff and executives. 99.9% of Walmart China associates are Chinese nationals. All our stores in China are managed by Chinese local talent. 43% of leaders at senior manager level and above are female. In 2009, the company established the “Walmart China Women’s Leadership Development Commission” for driving women’s career development.”

5% foreign in China…

That doesn’t support American exports and American jobs.

Remember what Lance Winslow wrote in that article “The Flow of Trade in a Global Economy”….

“Now let us look at Wal-Mart again; you buy a product there, 6% goes to the employees, 10-18% is profit to the company, 25% goes to other costs and 50% goes to re-stock or the cost of goods sold. Of the 50% about 20-25% goes to China, a guess, but you get the point. Now then, how long will it take at 433 Billion dollars at year for China to have all of our money, leaving no money flow for us to circulate? At a 17 Trillion dollar economy less than 40-years minus the 1/6 they buy from us. Some say that if we keep putting money into our economy, it would take forever, but if we do not then eventually all the money flow will go. If China buys our debt then eventually they own us, no need to worry about a war, they are buying America, due in part to our own mismanaged trade, so whose fault is that? Not necessarily China, as they are doing what’s in the best interests, and we should make sure that trade is not only free, but fair too.”

Think for a moment about George Washington….yes the man that is on the US dollar bill….How do you think George feels being sent overseas in return for all that foreign so-call cheap items and being left in a foreign bank because the American worker doesn’t make anything for the foreigners to buy. Cheap items didn’t make this great union of 50 states the greatest place on the face of this Earth…..the American worker (union and non-union) did.

You can’t have a strong country without having a strong currency and you can’t have a strong currency unless you keep it floating around within your 50 states. This is why the store with the star in the name puts 95% China made items in their stores in China….to keep their “yuan” in their country helping the nice people there. And with only 5% left for all the other 182 country’s that make stuff including the United States of America….that doesn’t produce very many jobs outside of China.

Being an old person myself and knowing how it was back in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s in this union of 50 states….I look at George each time I pull him out of my billfold and make a promise to send him out for items made in America so after floating around helping each hand he touches just maybe one day he will shake mine again.

Fifteen cargo ships pollute as much as 760 million automobiles.

$9 billion a year in hidden taxes to all American taxpayers to clean fish from ballast tanks of ships…

think about all those facts the next time you pull that George out of your pocket….

Retail makes NOTHING…

Governments only make MORE DEBT…

It’s time for less of those two and for America to get back to what it does best….MAKE STUFF..

cause George Washington on that dollar can’t help anyone in the United States of America if he is being held in a foreign hand.

Made In America is the only way out of this mess cause foreign made put US here.

Jul 26, 2011 8:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
D_R_MAKWANA wrote:
Vudu can also incorporate intervals on movie viewings where Walmart can advertise to its audience. Closed market advertising as I call it has a captive audience with no competitors.

Walmart are thinking very positively with the ownership of Vudu; there is a change in culture in viewing taste and Walmart are right on the frontline.

Well done.

Best Wishes,

DINESH R MAKWANA (DREAMWORDS AND INORBITS)

Jul 26, 2011 9:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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