updated 02:50 pm EDT, Fri April 8, 2011
Vudu hopes for Apple device support in future
Vudu chief Ed Lichty in a talk on Friday expressed hope that his movie streaming service might come to Apple devices. As part of an anticipation to expand into "tablets and other new gizmos," according to Forbes, Lichty thought devices like the iPad and iPhone might follow suit. He didn't give an indication of how close these were or whether there would have to be any changes.
The likelihood of an official app has been cast into doubt. Apple allows services that indirectly compete with its own into the App Store, such as music streaming services like Rdio, but often objects when it's a service that "duplicates functionality" and competes with Apple's own. Netflix is allowed on the Apple TV and iOS devices partly because it follows a subscription model. Vudu's purchases and rentals are closer to iTunes and could face a similar obstacle.
Android is more probable given its open nature, though it may hinge on the modular DRM introduced from Android 3.0 onwards.
Vudu was once near failure after it unsuccessfully focused on its self-designed Vudu Box hardware. It picked up momentum after going cloud-only, though, and now works on 300 devices, ranging from a number of TVs from LG and Vizio to media hubs like the Boxee Box and the PS3. Walmart's buyout of the company in February 2010 not only kept it afloat but let it discount more steeply than Apple, such as by offering a $2 for two nights deal on some HD movies. It currently outdoes Amazon Instant Video.