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Walmart to Take on Netflix (1 Viewer)

Cranston37+

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Vudu has 5,000 movies to watch for free - it will be interesting to see if they can get people to pay them $8/month without original content...
 

Scott Merryfield

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I am not willing to pay a monthly fee for Netflix or Hulu, so I doubt I will be interested in what Vudu puts together. I have Amazon Prime, but that subscription gives me a lot more than just video streaming. I just lost my free Hulu subscription that had been included with our Sprint cellular plan. I switched us to a new unlimited plan called Unlimited 55+ V2 that saved us $30 per month, but it no longer includes free Hulu.
 

Jake Lipson

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Yeah, I don't think the SVOD space really needs another competitor. I've enjoyed Vudu's services so far because they are on a pay-per-purchase model, or free if you have the codes from inside Blu-ray. I doubt I'd pay another subscription fee for this either.
 

Jake Lipson

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Just as a disclaimer before making this point, I can't find the quote now, so I'm going to be paraphrasing this and might not remember it entirely accurately. But I vaguely remember reading somewhere around the time they launched the Movies On Us service that they had considered a paid model back then, but decided to go with free/ad-supported because they felt that there were already enough major players in the paid SVOD space.

If I'm remembering that correctly, it's really interesting that they are effectively changing their tune now. I wonder why that is.

Each of these services on their own are cheap and reasonable, but with more and more streaming services being developed (including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, CBS All Access, paid YouTube, plus the forthcoming Disney one and the forthcoming DC Universe one, off the top of my head), it will get very expensive and probably impractical for people to subscribe to all of these different services at once, even if they do each have original content. It eels like people will have to start choosing which one or maybe two they really want to have, and therefore the potential audience for all of them is going to become more fragmented. Does Vudu really think they have something substantially new and compelling to offer in this space with all of these other competitors already off and running? I'm not sure if they actually do have that or not.

The Vudu brand has been working for them as it is right now. I'd personally be weary about changing it up too much.

We'll see what happens.
 

Jesse Skeen

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I'd pay for something like how Netflix USED to be- mainly a good varied selection of movies and shows, but no "original" material which costs money to produce. I've watched a few of Vudu's free movies with commercials, but even those are a bit annoying to sit through and I usually opt for something commercial-free instead.

Agreed that the subscriptions services are becoming too numerous- another great thing about Netflix when they started out was they were the only game in town and could get pretty much anything. Problem I have now is often not enough time to watch these to make them worth the price, making a $5 movie rental more worth it as it's something I actually want to see at that moment and only paying it in that case.
 

Scott Merryfield

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One other thing to throw out there regarding this, based on my experience with Vudu. Unless they completely revamp their customer service department, I think the endeavor will fail miserably. I have twice had to contact their support department, and each time I have received nothing but the runaround from them. The most recent issue was with a "Disc + Digital" order I placed last week for Season 1 of Games of Thrones, which was to include a Blu-ray plus a HDX digital copy added to my account. The digital copy part went fine, but instead of a BD I received a DVD package.

After opening a ticket online I did not hear anything back for a couple of days, so I sent another inquiry. That one wasn't responded to, either. I sent a third inquiry and threatened to dispute the charge with my credit card company if I did not get the courtesy of a reply. I finally got a response asking for a picture of the packaging, which I sent immediately. I then get a response back telling me I need to contact Walmart.com instead, with a provided toll free number. So I call the number, and after being transferred once within Walmart, I was then transferred back to Vudu! I got no real help when talking with the support person from Vudu on the phone, who said he would have to escalate the issue.

At that point I called my credit card company and disputed the charge. It was under $11, but it's the principle. What should have been a simple issue to resolve has turned into a week of being bounced around between Vudu and Walmart. I never have these issues with Amazon, and the one time I contacted Apple for an iTunes issue they were quick to respond and helpful.
 

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