NBCUniversal just added another weapon to its arsenal in the escalating battle for the online home media business.
Walmart announced Monday that NBCUniversal’s Fandango movie ticketing/video rental business has acquired the mega retailer’s Vudu streaming service. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, FandangoNOW had more than 60 million visitors each month – and its acquisition of Vudu, which is available on more than 100 million living room devices, is perceived as a move to gain a stronger toehold against online movie rental giants Amazon and iTunes.
Monday’s announcement did not include terms of the sale. Walmart itself had acquired Vudu in 2010 for $100 million.
Among online movie rental enthusiasts, Vudu is praised for using higher bit rates than other competitors, as well as its continued dedication to providing high streaming quality.
Monday’s announcement comes just days after NBCUniversal started rolling out Peacock, its own ad-supporting streaming service to select Xfinity X1 cable and internet customers across the United States.
Peacock, which will be available nationwide in July, will feature a library of films from Universal Studios, including Bridesmaids, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and Mamma Mia!; TV programs such as 30 Rock, Downton Abbey, the Law and Order shows and all seasons of Saturday Night Live; as well as new content from Tina Fey, Friends star David Schwimmer and a racing series from Dale Earnhardt Jr.
With all these competitors – Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, AppleTV+, HBO Max and Peacock for subscription streaming, and Amazon, iTunes and FandangoNOW for rentals – which will you be using?