Walmart Launches Free Streaming Movie Platform — But Don’t Expect New Releases

Users of Walmart’s streaming video service, Vudu, have been able to pay for TV shows and movies for years. Now, the retailer has launched a companion service that will provide customers with free streaming videos — if you don’t mind commercial interruptions and movies that are a few years old.

Walmart announced Tuesday the launch of Vudu Movies On Us, offering customers thousands of (older) movies and TV shows to watch on-demand for free.

The service, which is supported by advertisements, will focus on offering customers blockbuster titles and other classic films, so don’t except the latest releases to appear on Vudu Movies on US.

“As part of the Walmart family, Vudu is always looking for new ways for customers to save money – and nothing is more affordable than free,” the company says in a statement. “Millions of customers already buy and rent content on Vudu on a monthly basis. This new service provides value for customers who want to watch movies and TV for free, when and how they wish to watch, without sacrificing quality.”

TechCrunch points out that while Vudu might be courting some Netflix or Amazon Prime customers, its true competitors will be other free, ad-supported services like Yahoo View or Sony’s Crackle.

Despite an abundance of other services on the market, including those that do include new releases, Walmart believes there are enough customers to go around, citing a Deloitte report that found over 42% of U.S. consumers prefer to stream content at home, most from ad-supported services.

Walmart, of course, is no stranger to streaming services. In addition to purchasing Vudu in 2010, and offering discounted episodes Emmy winning shows earlier this year, the company has pushed “cut the cable” promotions.

In June, the company launched a promo urging shoppers to buy products that focus on streaming services rather than traditional pay-cable.

[via TechCrunch]

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