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Vudu Launches iPad Service

8/10/2011 02:04:03 PM Eastern

Bentonville,
Ark. - Walmart has begun offering its Vudu video-on-demand streaming service to
users of the Apple iPad in a way that makes it unnecessary to share streaming revenues
with Apple.

Vudu said it
developed an "optimized" iPad experience that enables consumers to use the
device's Safari web browser to purchase or rent movies and TV episodes in
standard definition via Wi-Fi or 3G cellular.

Using the iPad's
Safari browser, iPad owners go to www.vudu.com
to run a special app, which users don't download, analyst Peter King of
Strategy Analytics explained. Browser-based streaming of Vudu content gets
around Apple's requirement that content providers, including book publishers, share
revenues from in-app purchases made through apps downloaded from Apple's online
store.

 "Whether Apple users will in fact use it remains to be seen," he
added, referring to the convenience of in-app purchases.

At least one
other content provider, e-book seller Kobo, is developing a similar strategy to
allow e-book purchases from on Apple's iOS-based mobile devices. Kobo, which
also lamented other in-app purchasing restrictions, hopes to have its app
available this year.

Although navigation of the Vudu site has
not been optimized for the iPhone, iPhone 4 users will also be able to log into
a Vudu account to stream content through any iPhone browser via Wi-Fi or 3G, Vudu
said.  Consumers using the iPhone 3GS,
iPhone 3G or original iPhone, however, will not be able to access or stream Vudu
content.

To date, Vudu
hasn't provided access to its service through other tablets or smartphones.

Vudu
content purchased or rented through the iPad can be viewed on Walmart.com/Vudu,
Vudu.com
or on any of the more than 300 Vudu-enabled consumer electronics devices, which
include Internet-capable HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, HTiBs, set-top boxes and
the PlayStation3, the company said.

 Vudu is "committed
to offering the Vudu experience on as many devices as possible so customers can
shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want,
whenever they want," said Edward Lichty, GM of Walmart's Vudu subsidiary.

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