Walmart’s Vudu has added 60 new titles to its free, ad-supported movie streaming service for the month of December, including the first four “Paranormal Activity” supernatural horror flicks from Blumhouse Productions and Paramount Pictures.
Vudu launched the “Movies on Us” service in October, as a way to develop a new revenue stream as well as attract new users Walmart can convert into buyers for its core rental and electronic-sell-through business, as well as potentially drive them to its 5,000 stores in the U.S.
In addition to the “Paranormal Activity” quartet, new titles in Vudu’s free-movie section include: “Legally Blonde,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Rain Man,” “Ronin,” “Space Jam,” “Star Trek: Nemesis,” “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,” “Poseidon,” “The Perfect Storm” and “All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.”
Jeremy Verba, VP and GM of Vudu, said the company is seeing strong conversion of viewers watching free titles in Movies on Us to buying and renting. Moreover, he claimed Vudu isn’t seeing any cannibalization of its transactional biz by the free service, pointing out that many customers prefer to watch movies without any ads.
“We are seeing consumption across the entire library — there’s a long tail of consumption,” Verba said. “We are seeing more people coming to Vudu, and they now have a broader choice of what they can watch.” Currently, ads running on the free-movie service are promotional spots for Vudu itself.
Vudu’s device lineup includes Roku, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation 3 and 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox 360, iOS and Android mobile devices, PCs, Macs and various connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players; Apple TV is the notable exception. The Vudu service is available only in the U.S.
Other movies currently in Vudu’s Movies on Us queue include “Troy,” “The Last King of Scotland,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978), “Throw Momma From the Train,” “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” “Flash Gordon,” “The Secret of NIMH” and Woody Allen’s “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.”
Other advertising-supported VOD services include Sony’s Crackle, AdRise’s TubiTV and Yahoo View (which has a licensing deal with Hulu to offer free shows), as well as the free, ad-supported services from networks like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.