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Walmart said finishing deal to buy VUDU [Ux2]

updated 02:55 pm EST, Mon February 22, 2010

Walmart would reenter video movie stores

(Update 2: official) Walmart's tenative buyout of VUDU has been sealed, sources discovered on Monday afternoon. A pair of insiders aware of the deal told the NYT that the deals weren't available but that it was part of a return to offering online video services. Neither of the involved companies has agreed to confirm the deal.

An acquisition would mark a very different approach to video for Walmart than in the past. The big-box chain had tried offering a video download service in 2007 but closed it in under a year. Many attribute the failure to Walmart's dependence on Windows Media for the format, which not only came just as Apple was heavily promoting video on the more popular iTunes, iPod and iPhone but also prevented playing video on most any TV-friendly device.

Walmart is still considered one of the largest providers of movie purchases in the US, regardless of format, but has been facing a looming sea change as customers have increasingly veered away from in-store video purchases. Many have turned to either renting physical movies through Netflix or else using Internet video service, such as Netflix's Watch Instantly or iTunes.

VUDU is potentially well-suited to this as it dropped hardware entirely in favor of providing streaming videos to many living room devices, such as Blu-ray players and Internet-connected TVs. A buyout would instantly put Walmart on devices from LG, VIZIO and multiple major vendors.

Update: AllThingsD adds that Walmart may be paying $100 million for VUDU, a very high amount for the company. It also asserts that VUDU's HDX compression was a key part of the deal and "something special" that drew multiple bidders. One of these may have been Cisco.

Update 2: Walmart has confirmed the deal and won't provide the terms of the deal, but says it will take advantage of VUDU's "unique digital technology and service" and apply that to Walmart's sheer size and experience with retail.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. facebook_Raymond

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010

    -1

    InterNet capable TV or set top box = POOR VALUE

    Why would I want to pay extra for an InterNet capable TV or set top box that will only connect to a limited number of fixed web services that the device manufacturer has struck a commercial deal with. How does that represent long term value to the customers.

    OH....RIGHT.... the customer's interests are of little importance when it come to corporate value chain considerations.

    What ever happened to the old "CUSTOMER IS KING" as the key to forming a long term and thus profitable relationship with your customers?

    I guess we still have to leave that up to Apple. Everybody wants to be the next Apple Killer as long as they don't have to stoop to Apples level and actually practice any form of "CUSTOMER IS KING" because everybody knows customers are not willing to pay extra for a quality experience, except if you're Apple. Duh, someone with deep pockets should just go ahead and give it a try, it just might work, their price commoditization approaches certainly have not?

    That leaves me with little other choice, I will just have to waiting untill next year when Apple takes it's obvious next step and just slaps a version of the iPad's circuitry right into a Flat Panel TV. That way I will have access to a complete web browser, all web based services including all web video services and a huge array of custom App Store, native App based services. There you go AppleTV - Version-3

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    0

    You forgot to mention...

    that WalMart screwed all their customers by turning off their DRM servers, so you could no longer watch the movies you 'bought' from them...

    Only after an uproar did they refund customers money.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: poor value

    OH....RIGHT.... the customer's interests are of little importance when it come to corporate value chain considerations.

    What ever happened to the old "CUSTOMER IS KING" as the key to forming a long term and thus profitable relationship with your customers?

    I guess we still have to leave that up to Apple.


    Apple? You mean with the Apple TV, which is limited to its own stores, needing to connect to iTunes to transfer data, and only allows specific video portals like YouTube?

    Oh, no, you mean this next mythical device where you have Apple now in the world of large screen televisions and integrating an iPad OS. Don't think so. If Apple's getting in that world, they'll keep the AppleTV concept and make sure you don't do anything stupid like connect to Netflix and download and watch videos through there.

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