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 www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.

29 Comments

  • Boo Boo

    February 25, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Awful, really awful. Walmart is such a crappy company. Been nice knowing you.

  • Angelo A.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Hey, VUDU/WAL-MART

    Will WAL-MART KEEP THE VUDU NAME? and VUDU/WAL-MART still be Supporting the Set-Top Box’s and and keep updating the service?????
    I know some people that have the set-top box’s they are still a good product! i hope there is more good thing coming to VUDU with this. I have been a FAN for a year now and LOVE it. One thing that need to be done is have a longer renting time 48hours

  • adam

    February 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Angelo —

    Yes, VUDU will keep it’s name and continue to support the VUDU set-top box.

  • Angelo A.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks Adam for the quick response that is SUPER GOOD NEWS to here now can’t wait to see what comes to VUDU NEXT!

    Thank you, Angelo A.

    VUDU IS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TV!

  • mike hobbs

    February 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

    why did Vudu After Dark GO DARK? thats what parental settings are for

  • mike hobbs

    February 27, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Also heard YouTube support is going away? What gives? The tag line is demand more but it seems we continue to receive less

  • Ron

    February 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Awful! I may quit using Vudu altogether. Just Awful! The censorshiop has already begun.I feel betrayed!!!

  • adam

    March 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Mike —

    After Dark was removed from the VUDU service in order to comply with our new parent company. Here’s an article in our FAQs which will explain:

    http://supports.vudu.com/questions/266/Why+can+I+no+longer+access+AVN+After+Dark%3F

  • Alan Smithee

    March 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    And I see my previous comments were deleted! Go Wal-Mart!!!

  • Paul Guyer

    March 2, 2010 at 12:13 am

    I can’t believe Wal-Mart has the audacity to do this. I know they only did it just to irritate me.

  • Dan

    March 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Has WalMart said anything about fees? The thing I like about Netflix is pay a monthly fee rather than per video. This makes Netflix more cost efffective for the consumer over paying subscription fees for HBO,Showtime,Cinemax and Stars.

  • Gary

    March 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

    The fact that AVN has been dropped will not only cause me to stop using Vudu all together, I will also stop shopping at Walmart, Sams Club and any other affiliated company that believes in censorship and communism type sanctions.

  • Gary

    March 5, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Also, for those of you who are as mad as I am, if you have comcast, they offer similar service.

  • Gerald Bernardi

    March 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I loathe everything Wal-Mart stands for. I wouldn’t shop there, and I will never give them a dime. It was nice knowing you.

    Ah yes, and the censorship has begun …

  • Joe K.

    March 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    When I purchased my Vudu box this January I had no idea the service carried adult films; on learning that it did, I found this a delightful bonus. “Neat,” I thought. “Just like a hotel, only you don’t have to wonder if they can hear it in the next room.” Not three weeks later the WalMart Vice Squad invaded my home and, like an outraged Mommy seizing the magazines she found under the mattress, removed the offending films.

    It will annoy me to stop using a service I found highly convenient and which I’d only just paid to have installed. It would annoy me far more though to put one nickel in the coffers of a company that feels it has the right to decide what I can and can’t watch in the privacy of my home.

    I’ve since subscribed to Netflix. True, they don’t offer smut either and never have. But at least they lack the smug, moralistic effrontery it takes to purchase a company that does, and then pull the plug.

  • Brian B

    March 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    One again, Walmart attempts to spin it’s moral and ethical code of conduct as a good thing …. but of course it continues to sell goods from China that are being made by 12 year old children in what amounts to indentured servitude. Instead of worring about if someone has the right to listen to MA music or watch adult fillms, perhaps they should take their moral outrage to their own basement. I don’t shop at Walmart and now unfortunetly I will not longer use VUDU.

  • Dave M

    March 12, 2010 at 4:52 am

    On a positive note, maybe Walmart will make the modest investment in a more functional search and some personalization capabilities.

  • Mike

    March 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I think I waited a bit too late to buy the box from Best Buy. I ordered it and got an email saying it’s backordered. I’ve since gone back and now they don’t even list Vudu as an item. I also found out that Walmart bought Vudu, apparently shortly before I tried to buy it.

    Will Walmart be selling the set top boxes? I’m thinking my order will be perma-backordered from Best Buy. Not sure what to do.

  • adam

    March 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Mike —

    You will not be able to order the VUDU set-top boxes from Best Buy or Walmart. If you are looking for a VUDU set-top box, as opposed to a VUDU-enabled device, you can buy a VUDU box on eBay right now.

  • Mike

    March 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks Adam!

    Ordered it through ebay, first time ordering anything through ebay. But it was easy and seemed legit, seller had an ebay guarantee. So, hopefully I’ll be Vuduing by this weekend. 🙂 Thanks again.

  • pk in op

    March 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Walmart has a long and distinguished history of forcing content providers to conform to their ‘decency requirements’. I’m sure you’ve heard about all those music CDs that just don’t have ‘everything’ on them if you buy them at walmart….
    I am quite sure this will flow into a new, ‘this video has been edited for content’ [ walmart censoring requirements ].
    vudu, what will u du ?

  • Bang

    March 20, 2010 at 2:22 am

    bye vudu. I dont like… never liked …censorship

  • Curtis

    March 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Great job Vudu. Going to the worst store for customer service. You truly have sold your soul. I hope it made you rich cause you lost me as a customer. 🙁 Thanks for censors Walmart and for making me feel like I am child, I thought adults had more choices?

  • donthetech

    March 21, 2010 at 7:25 am

    I can understand the frustration about Walmart’s policies…..However, it IS the #1 retailer in the country, so most people don’t have a problem shopping there despite these policies…..Most of the posts here express views of people going to other providers, that is their choice, no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to support VUDU or Walmart…

    I did not have a problem when AVN was removed, that was a business decision…For God’s sake, if I want adult stuff, I can download enough to last a lifetime on the internet, and put them on my media server…I will simply monitor what Walmart/ VUDU do to keep me as a customer…My primary reason for getting the box was for electronic sell-thru, I want another source for a digital “collection” of HDX movies in addition to what is on my server.

  • donthetech

    March 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I need to correct my last sentence, I want a “collection” of HDX movies that are stored in the box or “cloud” in addition to the movies I have on my server……

  • Gale George

    March 28, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Where would we be without Wal-Mart? At K-mart? Hardly.

  • KathleenLingo

    April 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Can you add the term “Noir” as one of your catagories. This is one of my favorites and I am sure other film mavens would be thriled too.

  • USPSWKR

    February 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    As soon as I found out that WalMart was the parent company of Vudu, I immediately felt very depressed and sad. Censorship=WalMart You will do what we say or else. We have the power over you. If we don’t want you in our store, your product will not be there. That’s it!

  • USPSWKR

    February 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    As soon as I found out that WalMart was the parent company of Vudu, I immediately felt very depressed and sad. Censorship=WalMart You will do what we say or else. We have the power over you. If we don’t want you in our store, your product will not be there. That’s it! We win.