NBCUniversal In Talks to Acquire Vudu Streaming Service from Walmart
The era of streaming wars has not yet come to an end. As Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix continue to compete for viewers, NBCUniversal is considering adding a new streaming service, Vudu, to its collection.
If the deal were to move forward, the Walmart-owned ad-supported video service would join Peacock, NBCUniversal’s standalone service, under the Comcast umbrella. The business of renting and purchasing movies and shows on Vudu would be taken over by Fandango, which is also owned by Comcast.
Vudu has benefited from a warm welcome to the scene since October 2016, when the service opted to create a pricing tier that allows viewers to stream for free as long as they watch ads.
Given the often steep pricing structure of other services and increased interest in ad-supported free streaming, Vudu’s model has been popular. In spite of its success as a streaming service, the platform has not garnered enough interest in original programming to pursue the idea of content creation any further.
Another feature that caused Vudu’s surge in popularity in 2016 was its top-tier video streaming quality. The platform’s “HDX” pricing tier gave paying viewers the opportunity to stream videos at 1080p well before 4K took over the home theater screen.
The company’s disc-to-digital programs, which enable viewers to transfer movies they own on DVD and Blu-ray to their digital libraries, have also been hugely popular.
Overall, perhaps one of the biggest sources of Vudu’s popularity has been its independence from larger umbrella companies – like Comcast – that tend to affect how their subsidiaries do business.
If NBCUniversal were to acquire Vudu, it would lose its independent status and potentially some of the unique streaming features which its 100 million consumers currently enjoy.
Although the two companies are in advanced talks over the purchase, representatives of both Walmart and NBCUniversal have declined to comment on the progress of their meetings.
Source: The Verge