Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WalMart rides to UltraViolet's rescue

Previous posts (here and here)  have discussed UltraViolet, Hollywood's emerging rights locker system, where purchase of some home video discs also gives you access to stream online versions of the film.  Early difficulties with the streaming system initially developed by the industry - people had difficulty registering and getting reliable streams - led it to consider letting other streaming services serve as the portal to the consumer.
  WalMart's announced that it's new video streaming service, Vudu, will let people access their UltraViolet movies through their system, for a price ($2 for standard definition version, $5 for high definition) .  One difference from other streaming systems is that WalMart will let you register discs bought elsewhere - although it has to be done in store and in person.  It's a move that could help the movie industry move into online distribution, taking the WalMart move as providing a more user-friendly alternative for registering and accessing covered content.  It might also help Vudu, as it enters an already crowded streaming video marketplace.  That is, if people aren't put off by paying an additional fee for something they've already bought the rights to.

Source - WalMart to bridge online gap with disc-to-digitalBroadcast Newsroom


  1. I have mixed feelings regarding the UltraViolet project and especially with VuDu.

    While I can understand the appeal of streaming a film using UltraViolet, the fact remains that streaming film/TV is no longer a novel concept. Companies such as Netflix, Blockbuster and Amazon already have a strong grip on the crowded streaming market. If a consumer can stream a large amount of movies unlimited times from Netflix, while only paying one monthly fee, why wouldn't they? This, to me, illustrates the biggest problem with VuDu.

    I don't see an advantage in 1.) purchasing the physical DVD/Blu-Ray disc, 2.) streaming or downloading on your laptop/tablet and then 3.) paying an additional fee to Vudu just to access the files you already purchased in one central location.

    I can see how it would be advantageous to have all of a film collection in one location rather than having it be spread out among iTunes, Netflix and physical discs. However, most people are already paying a monthly fee to many streaming services. I don't know if many consumers will be willing to shell out another $2-3 just to have them all in one location.

  2. A few things I dont understand about this. If you buy the DVD/Blue-Ray why would you need to have it streamed to you? Also with companies like netflix I doubt that this will be very successful, even with the powerhouse of Wal-Mart backing it. Netflix has an amazing selection of movies, and netflix gives them to you at your fingertips. I have purchased DVD's that have an extra disc that is a computer version to put on iTunes and then eventually on an ipod or ipad. That is a good idea, because its cheap and doesnt require streaming.

    I am curious to see how this pans out.

  3. Yeah I agree Ben, this just seems odd to me. I mean, I own the movie, I don't need it streamed. I feel like this is a waste of time and money really. If I have to be seen in person to buy it, I'll just buy it and watch it on whatever system I have that plays that particular disc...Nuff said. Why would I pay an additional fee to watch it? Waste, waste, waste. Netflix beat you guys to the punch except it, just keep selling DVDs and Blue-Rays and I'll keep purchasing them. But I do not want to pay more money to have it streamed, that's ridiculous.