Walmart-owned Vudu is nothing new, at least not in terms of the basic function. It’s actually quite a refreshing break from the “pay for it all, consume everything” nature of most video streaming services. Like a lazy man’s Redbox, Vudu lets you pay only for titles you want to watch at the moment rather than tying up your finances with a subscription, all without leaving home or putting down your device. Even better, Vudu’s physical-to-digital compatibility means that buying a physical DVD or BluRay often lands you a digital download code to enjoy the movie you just bought on your mobile device.
Vudu also features a “backlist” of old blockbuster movies, provided for free to Walmart customers to watch with limited commercials. Called Vudu Movies On Us, you can browse through a limited selection of titles and enjoy an old favorite, everything from high-action to campy fun.
Now that Walmart has had ample time to get their feet wet with streaming content since purchasing Vudu in 2010, the company is reportedly ready to take on the subscription streaming big dogs. For approximately $8 a month, Vudu will offer movies, television shows, and even original content… exactly like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others.
While the company is still reportedly “exploring” this project, they’ve already brought in some major players, like former Epix CEO Mark Greenberg. Neither part is speaking publicly about Greenberg’s role with Walmart, though.
But how many subscription services does one viewer need? The current model means your Netflix account won’t let you watch The Handmaid’s Tale, which is put out by Hulu. Neither account will let you watch live HBO specials, although Hulu has an upper tier to the subscription that lets you access cable TV and premium channels for an additional price.
Walmart’s rumored service might be cheaper than some other options, but some reports say it will be targeted to “Middle America” in terms of the type and variety of content, whatever that may mean.