When you buy a movie from everyone’s favorite mega jumbo giant retailer, you’ll now be given the option of purchasing a digital copy of the film as well. The idea is that customers should think of digital copies as add-ons to their physical disc purchase. The additional fees will be $2 for standard-definition movies and $5 for HD. Either option is available regardless of which format you buy the movie on.
So in other words, for a few extra bucks, in addition to having the satisfaction of owning a physical DVD or Blu-ray Disc, you’ll also be able to watch the movie any time, anywhere through Walmart’s Vudu streaming service. Vudu is a pay-per-view platform that lets users rent or purchase digital copies of movies and TV shows. Walmart EVP John Aden described digital movies as a “complement” to physical discs, not a replacement.
Of course, the downside to this service is that users are them obliged to watch their digital content through Vudu and Vudu alone. That’s not a terrible thing. There are Vudu apps for everything from computers to Internet-connected TVs to Blu-ray players and game consoles. Vudu content is widely accessible, but it’s not a standard. Thus is the problem with digital movie distribution. Videos aren’t as portable as MP3 files, so cloud storage makes sense. But there are many different cloud storage providers in this space.