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Walmart to Sell On-Demand Streaming Service Vudu to Fandango

Fern Siegel

Fandango has bought Vudu, an on-demand streamer that reaches more than 100 million living-room devices in the U.S., from Walmart, reports TechCrunch.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Vudu gives customers the option of renting or buying movies and TV shows. Since Fandango operates its own movie platform, FandangoNOW, the acquisition could offer streaming integration options. Given the pandemic, Fandango’s movie ticketing service has been shuttered — and the company has concentrated on its streaming movie business, including streaming “Trolls World Tour.”

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart was in talks with NBCUniversal, which owns Fandango and Fandango NOW, to acquire Vudu.

Amazon Prime Video and iTunes are still the dominant players in video rentals and sales, but by combining Vudu and Fandango NOW, NBCU could see this as a way to reach a larger audience.

Walmart acquired Vudu in 2010 for $100 million, which had recently added free ad-supported content to their service. This could be used as a way to expand the content available on Peacock, NBCU’s streaming service that soft-launched on April 15. Peacock, which will be free to Comcast and Charter customers (and $5 to everyone else), will also feature synthetic linear feeds similar to those on Pluto TV and XUMO.

Vudu, founded in 2004, has a catalog of more than 24,000 titles and over 8,000 television shows. It also has licensing deals with major studies, including MGM, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony and WB, as well as Filmrise/Screen Media, Kino Lorber and Magnolia Pictures.

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