Last year, the Fandango movie discovery and ticketing business, a division from NBCUniversal, bought the Vudu video-on-demand streaming service from Walmart, after the retailer failed to capitalize on the service it had first acquired in 2010 for $ 100 million. Today, Fandango is taking the next steps with Vudu by merging the service with its existing streaming platform, FandangoNOW. The new combined service will continue to use the Vudu name and will feature more than 200,000 newly released movies and TV shows and catalogs for rent or purchase without a subscription, as well as “thousands” of free titles.
The company tells us that it chose to stick with “Vudu” as its name because it is already a popular brand with a loyal following and is significantly larger than the FandangoNOW service.
Despite changes to the service, existing FandangoNOW customers will not lose access to any of the content they have already purchased. Both your movies and TV series will be automatically transferred to the new Vudu service starting today.
Vudu’s on-demand library currently competes with Apple iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play / YouTube, as well as similar services from various telcos. In particular, these types of services appeal to those who want to see new releases and have the option of having favorite movies and shows, rather than subscribing to services where such content comes and goes as license agreements expire.
At launch, the newly merged Vudu will include new releases such as “F9: The Fast Saga”, Pixar’s “Luca”, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”, “Peter Rabbit 2”, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” , “A Quiet Place Part II,” Disney’s “Cruella,” “Godzilla vs. Kong ”,“ In the Heights ”and others. Next Tuesday, you will also have access to Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow,” the title that is now the subject of a lawsuit for breach of contract filed on behalf of actress Scarlett Johansson, who is suing Disney for sending what was supposed to be a theatrical premiere directly to her Disney + streaming service on opening day.
Many titles are available in 4K Ultra HD and support formats like Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, the company notes.
Vudu already has a large built-in audience for its film and television market. Fandango claims that the service has more than 60 million registered users and reaches “millions” daily.
Through its expansive platform support, it is capable of reaching more than 75 million households with TV-connected devices in the US, per data from NPD Group. This includes Vudu support for Samsung, LG and Vizio smart TVs; the Roku platform, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, PlayStation, Xbox, Tivo and others.
Following the merger and rebranding, the new Vudu service will also take FandangoNOW’s place as official movie store on the Roku platform, where consumers can rent or shop with Roku Pay.
Vudu joins the existing Fandango digital network, which will continue to include Fandango’s movie ticketing business, MovieTickets.com, Flixster, Movieclips and Rotten Tomatoes. While the merger of the two services at least clears up some overlap within the Fandango division, NBCU’s parent company Comcast continues to have its own overlap issues when it comes to streaming. Comcast acquired the advertising streaming service Xumo in February 2020 and, through NBCU, runs the year Peacock streaming service. So far, it has made no move to centralize those efforts.