|Industry||Video on demand|
Vudu is an American digital video store and streaming service owned by Fandango Media, a joint-venture between NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia. The company offers transactional video on demand rentals and digital purchases of films, as well as integration with digital locker services for streaming digital copies of films purchased as home video at retail.
The service initially focused on a digital media player known as the Vudu Box. In 2010, the company began to abandon its hardware business, and focus on integrating its service and associated app platform into third-party devices such as televisions and Blu-ray Disc players. The company has since offered its services online, via mobile apps, and on devices such as digital media players and smart TVs.
In 2010, Vudu was sold to Walmart. In 2020, Fandango Media acquired Vudu for an undisclosed amount.
Vudu was founded by Tony Miranz and Alain Rossmann (the creator of WAP). The Vudu Box had been secretly in development since 2004, but in April 2007, The New York Times revealed that Vudu had signed deals with several movie studios and independent distributors to deliver access to nearly 5,000 films.
In May 2008, Vudu began displaying and selling its set-top box in Best Buy stores. Before this, the box was only available via online retailers. In October, Vudu announced that it would begin to stream films in 1080p high definition, branded as "HDX". These films would feature a series of encoding and processing techniques branded as "TruFilm", including the dampening of artifacting and pixelation associated with darker areas of pictures, film grain preservation, "color gradient processing" to improve appearance on flat-panel televisions, and "statistical variable bitrate" to optimize streaming performance.
On February 24, 2009, Vudu became the first on-demand service to offer high-definition movies for download to own. Prior to Vudu allowing users to purchase high-definition movies, studios only allowed their films to be purchased in standard-definition format. LG was the first to integrate Vudu into its HDTVs, with access beginning in August 2009 through the television's NetCast application.
On January 8, 2010, at Consumer Electronics Show, Vudu announced that it would phase out its in-house hardware business in favor of focusing on integration of its rich Internet application platform, "Vudu Apps" (which featured Vudu as well as other streaming video and internet services), directly into internet-connected televisions and Blu-ray players, with initial hardware partners including LG, Magnavox, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, and Vizio.
On February 22, 2010, Walmart announced its intent to acquire Vudu. The company had previously attempted to offer digital video sales in 2007, but the service folded due to competition with the iTunes Store. In order to comply with Walmart's content policies, Vudu subsequently discontinued its "After Dark" service (a collaboration with AVN), which offered pornographic content.
In 2012, Vudu partnered with UltraViolet, an industry-backed digital locker offering online streaming of retail DVD and Blu-ray disc purchases. In 2014, Vudu also joined Disney's competing Movies Anywhere initiative.
In April 2020, it was announced that NBCUniversal subsidiary Fandango Media would acquire Vudu for an undisclosed amount; the sale closed on July 6, 2020. Fandango is minority owned by Warner Bros., and operates the similar service FandangoNOW. As part of the sale, Walmart will maintain its relationships with Vudu, including account integration and promotion of the service via Walmart's website.
On August 3, 2021, FandagoNOW was merged into Vudu, with Vudu replacing FandangoNOW as the official video store on the Roku platform. Fandango chose to retain the "Vudu" name as it was the larger service with a loyal customer base.
As of June 2019, Vudu's selection contains over 24,000 titles in their catalog and over 8,000 television shows. Titles range from major motion pictures, independent films, documentaries, children's programming, anime, musicals, recorded musical performances, cartoons, and television series. Vudu has established content licensing contracts with all major movie studios as well as over 50 smaller and independent studios. Films are available to rent in standard-definition, high-definition, and 4K ultra high definition formats, with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 available on supported devices and content.
In October 2018, Vudu partnered with MGM Television to develop and acquire original programming for Movies on Us, with a focus on "family-friendly, advertiser-friendly content" derived from existing MGM properties. Vudu premiered its first original series, Mr. Mom—a continuation of the 1983 film of the same name, on September 12, 2019.
- Spangler, Todd (October 18, 2016). "Walmart's Vudu Launches Free Movie, TV Service With Thousands of Titles". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Stone, Brad (April 29, 2007). "Vudu Casts Its Spell on Hollywood". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
- "Faultline: Vudu, RawFlow and Joost all target web video services – Analyst Insights". HPInnovator. May 2, 2007. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Ault, Susanne (May 22, 2008). "Vudu casts boxes onto Best Buy shelves". Video Business. Archived from the original on June 30, 2008. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Ha, Peter (October 2, 2008). "Vudu officially announces full HD service, HDX". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Press Release". VUDU. February 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009.
- Chabot, Jeff (July 29, 2009). "LG first to bring Hulu to HDTVs". HD Report. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Albanesius, Chloe (February 22, 2010). "Wal-Mart Confirms Plans to Buy Vudu". PCMag.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Wilson, Mark (December 16, 2008). "VUDU Offering 120 Channels of Free Media with New App Platform". Gizmodo. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Pogue, David (February 10, 2010). "Vudu Lives (Outside the Box)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Clark, Don (January 8, 2010). "New TV Apps Borrow a Page From iPhone". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Bustillo, Miguel (February 23, 2010). "Wal-Mart Re-Enters Digital Downloading of Movies With Purchase of Vudu". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Siegler, MG (February 24, 2010). "Hot And Bothered: Walmart Shutting Down Vudu's Adult Section". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
- Keys, Phil (March 16, 2012). "Vudu/UltraViolet: Make or Break Moment for UltraViolet and Walmart". Forbes. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- "Disney Movies Anywhere Now Works with Vudu". Vudu Blog. November 17, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
- Goldsmith, Jill (February 21, 2020). "Comcast in Talks To Buy Walmart's Streaming Service Vudu". Deadline. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
- Lipman, Ashley (July 6, 2020). "Vudu is Now Officially Part of the Fandango Family". Xanjero. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
- Brown, Shelby. "Walmart to sell Vudu to Fandango". CNET. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Alexander, Julia. "Fandango just purchased Vudu from Walmart to better compete against Amazon, iTunes". The Verge. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- Fandango chooses Vudu as the way forward for its streaming business
- FandangoNOW and Vudu merge into a new streaming service with titles to rent, buy or stream free
- Perez, Sarah (October 8, 2018). "Walmart partners with MGM on original programming for Vudu". TechCrunch.
- "Walmart launches a free streaming service, Vudu Movies on Us". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Pedersen, Erik (August 26, 2019). "'Mr. Mom' Trailer: First Original Series From Walmart's Vudu Streaming Service". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 27, 2019.