VUDU to be acquired by Walmart

VUDU_Logo (2)You’ve probably already heard by now (we’ve been too busy working on the deal to post), but VUDU is being acquired by Walmart (you can read the full press release here, and embedded below), and we’re very excited about it.  We love the team at Walmart we’re working with, and this deal will allow us to accelerate our vision for VUDU in ways we could never do on our own.  The release offers all the background, detail and information better than I can re-hash wal-mart-logohere, so please give it a read below.  Thanks for reading, and thanks as well for being our loyal customers.  Now, back to work…

Walmart Announces Acquisition of Digital Entertainment Provider, VUDU

Company takes next step to enhance home entertainment and information delivery options for consumers

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 22, 2010 — Walmart announced today a definitive agreement to acquire VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital technologies and services that enable the delivery of entertainment content directly to broadband high-definition TVs and Blu-ray players. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.

VUDU is a revolutionary service, built into a growing number of broadband-ready TVs and Blu-ray players, that delivers instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows directly through the television. Customers with broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready TV or Blu-ray player can rent or purchase movies, typically in high-definition, without needing a connected computer or cable/satellite service. New movies and features will be added continually, enabling customers to enjoy a product that continues to become more robust long after they have left the store.

“The real winner here is the customer,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart. “Combining VUDU’s unique digital technology and service with Walmart’s retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment.”

VUDU has licensing agreements with almost every major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors to offer approximately 16,000 movies, including the largest 1080p library of video on-demand movies available anywhere. Via their broadband Internet connection, users have the ability to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.

VUDU will continue developing entertainment and information delivery solutions such as VUDU Apps, a platform that delivers hundreds of streaming Internet applications and services to TVs and Blu-ray players with built-in Internet connectivity. VUDU has partnered with some of the leading names in Internet and media entertainment to offer applications on its platform including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take our company’s vision to the next level,” said Edward Lichty, VUDU executive vice president. “VUDU’s services and Apps platform will give Walmart a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience.”

VUDU, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart. The company is not disclosing financial terms of the agreement as the acquisition is not material to its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2011.

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting Online merchandise sales are available at and

Sliding Windows: The Changing Landscape of Home Video

28dayslatercoverMany of you may have noticed the recent agreement struck between Netflix and Warner Bros. to postpone the availability of new releases on Netflix DVD-by-mail service for 28 days following their release on DVD/Blu-ray (you can read an interesting analysis of it here).  This means that when a new movie, say The Informant, hits the shelves in DVD and Blu-ray, Netflix customers won’t be able to get it until at least a month later.  It is widely assumed that this agreement will serve as a template for Netflix’s relationships with the other major studios going forward. which would mean that pretty much all new releases wouldn’t be available on Netflix until a month after release (and they wouldn’t show up on streaming for at least another year.)

At VUDU, things work differently.  Almost all of our movies are available the same day the come out on DVD and Blu-ray.  And because we’re all digital, our customers don’t have to suffer through the rationing of physical inventory or the headaches of getting scratched discs that are unwatchable.  All new new releases are available to everyone with the best viewing experience possible, in 1080p HD quality and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.  Our customers have told us they love the value we deliver to them.  And as it turns out, our commitment to delivering you the earliest, best movie experience possible is something that Hollywood loves as well.   So rather than seeing us curtailing what we offer our customers, you’ll see us moving in the opposite direction – more movies earlier.

We’d love to hear what you think on this topic.