VUDU Seen in VIZIO’s Super Bowl Ad

Did you see us in the big game tonight????  We are excited about our partnership with VIZIO and certainly delighted to be in their first Super Bowl commercial – check it out, along with an online demo of VUDU on VIZIO  here.  Sure,  the VUDU Logo  is visible twice for a few seconds, but hey… over 100 million people were watching!

VIZIO is one of the most aggressive entrants in the Internet enabled TV segment. Their new TV’s are just great, truly optimized for Internet use with advanced remote (yes there is a pull out keyboard), built-in wifi on all models, and some of the slickest software we have seen around. And as usual expect great value from VIZIO’s consumer-friendly pricing.

VIZIO is an amazing entrepreneurial success story. Started in Irvine, CA in 2002 with 3 employees and $600K, eight years later, it has become a multi-billion dollar business that commands over 20% of the US TV market.

How does a startup enter a mature market dominated by industry giants and become the market share leader in just eight years? The answer is business model and distribution innovation.

VIZIO shook the market by disaggregating the TV business model, shifting from the vertically integrated model followed by industry giants to a PC style outsourced model where the company focuses its resources on product design and marketing leaving manufacturing to outside partners. The result has been a nimble organization, able to churn out new TV models faster and at lower cost than was possible with the traditional vertically integrated model.

VIZIO has also driven significant innovation in distribution, with a focus on mass market channels like Walmart and Costco. In 2002 this was an iconoclastic idea because these super efficient channels were not yet “players” in the consumer electronics market.

The strategy took the industry by storm and from its humble beginnings in 2002 VIZIO is now itself a consumer electronics giant.  We are proud to be delivering the VUDU experience on Vizio’s new Internet-connected HDTVs.

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.

VUDU now has 3000 HDX titles, the largest HD collection anywhere

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Like your movies in bold, beautiful 1080p with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound?  Then VUDU’s HDX format is for you.  And now we’ve got over 3000 HDX titles available on the service, more than any other HD collection anywhere, even Blu-ray.

HDX chartIt wasn’t easy to do this.  Our encoding team spent long hours, nights and weekends in the lab to make this happen.  But we heard from you that you wanted more HDX, and we are always committed to doing whatever we can to respond to our customers and make VUDU as good as it can possibly be.  And don’t worry, we’re not stopping at 3,000 (although we will let our encoding team get some rest for a bit after the tremendous push to 3K) – every new movie from a major studio that we offer on VUDU will be available in HDX (and also in our still-excellent HD and SD formats).

So, if you get a chance and have a sufficiently speedy (4.5mbps or faster) internet connection, treat yourself to the best movie experience this side of Blu-ray – HDX on VUDU.  Let us know what you think.

VUDU Kicks Off 2010 With Four New Partners And VUDU Apps

Well, VUDU Fans, we’re starting off 2010 in style – we’re  in Vegas.  But while we love a good party as much as anyone, in this case we have a real and serious purpose for being in Sin City.  We’re at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and we have some amazing news to announce.  They say all good things come in 3’s, and here are ours:

1.  We are greatly expanding our relationship with our previously launched partners, LG Electronics and Mitsubishi, and we’re launching our initial products with another partner we announced last year, VIZIO.  VUDU services will be available on loads of new HDTVs and Blu-ray disc players (BDPs) from these outstanding CE manufacturers in 2010.

2.  We are dramatically expanding our footprint with new partners and will be shipping on HDTVs and BDPs from SamsungSANYOSharp and Toshiba in 2010.  Needless to say, taking the VUDU team from 2 to 7 partners in market is a great step for us and signifies the growing acceptance of VUDU as the best way to stream HD movies.

But wait (as the Sham Wow guy would say) – there’s more!

3.  The pièce de résistance of our announcements is VUDU Apps.  This new Internet applications platform provides access to a wide range of services and applications including streaming video, music on demand, photo browsing, social networking and more.  More than 100 applications are available on VUDU Apps, including popular services like Pandora, Picasa, Flickr, Dailymotion and leading news providers such as The New York Times and The Associated Press.

The underlying technology of VUDU Apps was initially developed to enable the VUDU Streaming Movie Service on broadband HDTVs and BDPs.  Using VUDU Apps, the movie service has been able to easily integrate popular Internet services like Rotten Tomatoes and Wikipedia directly into the movie service user interface.

VUDU Apps will initially launch on TVs from Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba, as well as BDPs from Toshiba and VIZIO.

You can see some screenshots that give you an early peek of VUDU Apps.  As you can see, we’ve kept the same cool elegance of our look and feel and extended it to a variety of popular internet apps.  Internet on the TV is about to take one giant leap forward!

So you can see that 2010 is going to be a huge year for VUDU.  We’re super fired up, but we’d like to know what you think as well.  Just leave a comment below.

Thanks,

The VUDU Team

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Wikipedia and VUDU: A Marriage Made In Heaven

We always look for ways to make the VUDU experience more enjoyable, more fluid, and more informative.  So today we’ve integrated Wikipedia right into the VUDU interface.

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Select the Wikipedia menu item on the page for any movie and find out what the world has to say about it.  And you don’t have to stop there – you can navigate through all of the links on the Wikipedia page just like you would on Wikipedia.com, going as far as your interest and curiosity takes you.  What’s more, VUDU automagically creates links back into the VUDU service for any movie, actor, or director it knows about.

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So you can navigate from a movie >> to its Wikipedia article >> to the Wikipedia article of an actor in that movies >> to that actor’s filmography on VUDU.  Super cool and guaranteed to make looking for great things to watch more fun and interesting than ever.

This is another great example of what we can do by leveraging our Internet platform. The movie service is no longer an isolated island – it benefits from live access to the wealth of Internet information.

You may have noticed we’ve been rolling out new features a lot lately, almost on a weekly basis.  We’re able to do this because our whole service, including its user interface, is hosted in the “Cloud”.  This architecture has several important positive benefits:

  • We can add great new features (Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, theatrical trailers, just to name a few) quickly and easily.
  • You don’t have to wait for a manufacturer firmware updates to get the newest and best stuff from VUDU.  It just appears.
  • We are able to deliver the same great VUDU movie service to all of our customers, regardless of what device they use.

Adding Wikipedia is our latest effort to make your movie-watching experience the best it can be, so check it out and let us know what you think.  If there are other features you think we should add, tell us that too.