Vudu

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Vudu, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo on demand
FoundersAlain Rossmann
Tony Miranz
Headquarters,
Area served
United States
OwnerNBCUniversal (Comcast) (70%) Warner Bros. (WarnerMedia) (AT&T) (30%)
ParentFandango Media
Websitewww.vudu.com

VUDU is an American digital video store and streaming service owned by Fandango Media, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. The company offers transactional video on demand rentals and digital purchases of films, as well as integration with digital locker services for streaming digital copies of films purchased as home video at retail.

The service initially focused on a digital media player known as the VUDU Box. In 2010, the company began to abandon its hardware business, and focus on integrating its service and associated app platform into third-party devices such as televisions and Blu-ray Disc players. The company has since offered its services online, via mobile apps, and on devices such as digital media players and smart TVs.[1]

In 2010, VUDU was sold to Walmart. In 2020, Fandango Media acquired VUDU for an undisclosed amount.

Content[edit]

2020 1 January, the VUDU "Disc to Digital" program exists for Mobile App users only.

2019 31 December, VUDU retired the "Disc to Digital" (D2D) disc optical drive scanning service. The Mobile-To-Disc (M2D) service continued, still under the "Disc to Digital" name. VUDU customers were displeased with the loss of the D2D part of the service with unlimited disc scanning. The M2D service limit was 100 movies within a calendar year.

2019 June, VUDU's selection contains over 24,000 titles in their catalog and over 8,000 television shows.[citation needed] Titles range from major motion pictures, independent films, documentaries, children's programming, anime, musicals, recorded musical performances, cartoons, and television series. VUDU established content licensing contracts with all major movie studios as well as over 50 smaller and independent studios. Films are available to rent in standard-definition, high-definition, and 4K ultra high definition formats, with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 available on supported devices and content.

2018 October, VUDU partnered with MGM Television to develop and acquire original programming for Movies on Us, with a focus on "family-friendly, advertiser-friendly content" derived from existing MGM properties.[2] VUDU premiered its first original series, Mr. Mom—a continuation of the 1983 film of the same name, on September 12, 2019.[3]

2017 March, VUDU extended the "Disc to Digital" service, in releasing the VUDU Mobile App first for Smart phones, later for Tablets. VUDU users then had an additional way to convert discs, using the App paired with a Mobile device camera. The camera scans the barcode on the insert cover of DVDs and Blu-Rays. This new feature is nicknamed Mobile-To-Digital (M2D), to distinguish it from the original "Disc to Digital" (D2D) service where the discs are scanned by an optical drive. However, which ever way Discs are scanned, it is all within the "Disc to Digital" name. The App works via using one and only one home location. The service is able to scan all eligible DVDs and Blu-Rays. The "Disc to Digital" App can scan up to 100 movies within a calendar year. The 100 movie limit has been reached when the App prompts and stops the a user with the VUDU message, "You have reached the Disc to Digital limit of conversions for the calendar year". Once a VUDU user account reaches the 100 limit, the user must wait until after December 31st. If the user does not reach the limit of 100 by year-end, the remaining movies to purchase through the "Disc to Digital" service do not roll over into the new year; it's a use-it or lose-it scenario. On January 1st, all VUDU user accounts have their Disc to Digital movie counters reset to 0 for the new year, again with a 100 movie limit.

2016 October, VUDU added a free, ad-supported streaming library to its platform in the United States branded as "Movies on Us", featuring recent and classic films.[2][4][1]

History[edit]

2020 April, it was announced that NBCUniversal subsidiary Fandango Media would acquire VUDU for an undisclosed amount; the sale closed on 2020 July 6.[5] Fandango is minority owned by Warner Bros., and operates the similar service FandangoNow. As part of the sale, Walmart will maintain its relationships with VUDU, including account integration and promotion of the service via Walmart's website.[6][7]

2020 February, it was reported that Comcast (via NBCUniversal) had entered talks into acquiring VUDU from Walmart.[8]

2014, VUDU also joined Disney's competing Movies Anywhere initiative.[9]

2012, VUDU partnered with UltraViolet, an industry-backed digital locker offering online streaming of retail DVD and Blu-ray disc purchases.[10]

2010 February 22, Walmart announced its intent to acquire VUDU. The company had previously attempted to offer digital video sales in 2007, but the service folded due to competition with the iTunes Store.[11] In order to comply with Walmart's content policies, VUDU discontinued its "After Dark" service (a collaboration with AVN), which offered pornographic content.[12]

2010 January 8, at Consumer Electronics Show, VUDU announced that it would phase out its in-house hardware business in favor of focusing on integrating its rich Internet application platform,[13] "VUDU Apps" (which featured VUDU as well as other streaming video and internet services), directly into internet-connected televisions and Blu-ray players, with initial hardware partners including LG, Magnavox, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, and Vizio.[14][15]

2009 February 24, VUDU became the first on-demand service to offer high-definition movies for download to own. Before this, studios only allowed their films to be purchased in standard-definition format.[16] LG was the first to integrate VUDU into its HDTVs, with access beginning in August 2009 through the television's NetCast application.[17][18]

2008 May, VUDU began displaying and selling its set-top box in Best Buy stores. Before this, the box was only available via online retailers.[19] In October, VUDU announced that it would begin to stream films in 1080p high definition, branded as "HDX".[20] These films would feature a series of encoding and processing techniques branded as "TruFilm", including the dampening of artifacting and pixelation associated with darker areas of pictures, film grain preservation, "color gradient processing" to improve appearance on flat-panel televisions, and "statistical variable bitrate" to optimize streaming performance.[20]

2007 April, VUDU had received $21 million in venture capital funding from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital.[21] The company is based in Santa Clara, California.

2007 April, The New York Times revealed that VUDU had signed deals with several movie studios and independent distributors to deliver access to nearly 5,000 films.[22]

2004, VUDU was founded by Tony Miranz and Alain Rossmann (the creator of WAP). The VUDU Box had been secretly in development.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (October 18, 2016). "Walmart's Vudu Launches Free Movie, TV Service With Thousands of Titles". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Perez, Sarah (October 8, 2018). "Walmart partnered with MGM on original programming for Vudu". TechCrunch.
  3. ^ Pedersen, Erik (August 26, 2019). "'Mr. Mom' Trailer: First Original Series From Walmart's Vudu Streaming Service". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "Walmart launches a free streaming service, Vudu Movies on Us". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  5. ^ Lipman, Ashley (July 6, 2020). "Vudu is Now Officially Part of the Fandango Family". Xanjero. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  6. ^ Brown, Shelby. "Walmart to sell Vudu to Fandango". CNET. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  7. ^ Alexander, Julia. "Fandango just purchased Vudu from Walmart to better compete against Amazon, iTunes". The Verge. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  8. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (February 21, 2020). "Comcast in Talks To Buy Walmart's Streaming Service Vudu". Deadline. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "Disney Movies Anywhere Now Works with Vudu". Vudu Blog. November 17, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Keys, Phil (March 16, 2012). "Vudu/UltraViolet: Make or Break Moment for UltraViolet and Walmart". Forbes. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  11. ^ Bustillo, Miguel (February 23, 2010). "Wal-Mart Re-Enters Digital Downloading of Movies With Purchase of Vudu". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  12. ^ Siegler, MG (February 24, 2010). "Hot And Bothered: Walmart Shutting Down Vudu's Adult Section". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Wilson, Mark (December 16, 2008). "VUDU Offering 120 Channels of Free Media with New App Platform". Gizmodo. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  14. ^ Pogue, David (February 10, 2010). "Vudu Lives (Outside the Box)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Clark, Don (January 8, 2010). "New TV Apps Borrow a Page From iPhone". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  16. ^ "Press Release". VUDU. February 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009.
  17. ^ Chabot, Jeff (July 29, 2009). "LG first to bring Hulu to HDTVs". HD Report. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  18. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (February 22, 2010). "Wal-Mart Confirms Plans to Buy Vudu". PCMag.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  19. ^ Ault, Susanne (May 22, 2008). "Vudu casts boxes onto Best Buy shelves". Video Business. Archived from the original on June 30, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  20. ^ a b Ha, Peter (October 2, 2008). "Vudu officially announces full HD service, HDX". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  21. ^ "Faultline: Vudu, RawFlow and Joost all target web video services – Analyst Insights". HPInnovator. May 2, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  22. ^ Stone, Brad (April 29, 2007). "Vudu Casts Its Spell on Hollywood". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 15, 2011.

External links[edit]