Walmart May Be Readying A Vudu Sale

Walmart is rumored to be selling Vudu, its on-demand video service, reports The Information.

Acquired by the giant retailer in 2010 for an estimated $100 million, Vudu distributes full-length movies over the Internet to televisions in the U.S. A rented title can be stored on the Vudu Box for 30 days before being watched.

But technology has trumped mission.

Rather than replacing DVDs, Vudu confronted the new world of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Walmart realized it might be more economical to partner with media companies than compete with major streaming services, a source told The Information.

Walmart’s timing is noteworthy, given the crowded field.

Apple and Disney will debut new services, Nov. 1 and Nov. 12, respectively. Comcast’s Peacock arrives in April and AT&T’s HBO Max in May.

Sony also announced it is ceding the streaming world by shutting down PlayStation Vue.

No word on a Vudu asking price, but one lure for potential buyers may be its original slate. Last month, it premiered its first original series, a remake of the movie “Mr. Mom.” Also in the works is an update of the Nickelodeon series “Blues Clues,” coming in November, and sci-fi series “Albedo” starring Evangeline Lilly.

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.

In late 2018, Vudu claimed 25 million registered users.

Walmart may be shifting its video strategy to interactive programming, The Information suggests. In 2018, it invested in media company Eko to develop interactive and “shoppable” content.