There’s been a lot voodoo going at VUDU as of late. But what’s it all leading to?
On the retail side, Walmart, which owns VUDU, the on-line paid video service, recently started carrying the Roku player in its retail stores. While the official word from VUDU is they have nothing to announce at this time, chances are we’ll be seeing the VUDU service on the Roku in the near future (but probably not on the lower priced Roku HD given its lack of 1080P support).
There have been lots of other developments in the VUDU world lately: Dedicated VUDU buttons being added to Vizio remotes, digital movie cards at Walmart (only in SD?!!) and browser access to their catalog (once again only in SD). VUDU also announced earlier this year they were beefing up their offering of TV shows. While the additions have been few in number, the significant add this past week was all four seasons of Mad Men for purchase.
What was more interesting was that the Hub noticed a price change for purchased movies and TV shows in VUDU’s HD format (not rentals). Before the change, VUDU offered shows in three formats at three different prices: SD (standard definition), HD (720P high definition) and HDX (1080P high definition). It appears the prices of HD titles have been raised across the board to the HDX price. For example, an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead used to cost $2.49 for HD and $2.99 for HDX. Now both cost $2.99. With the $2.49 pricing, VUDU’s HD episodes were a better value than the equivalent quality $2.99 episodes on iTunes and Amazon Instant. The Hub is wondering what motivated the change and what other voodoo we may see.
Update: This pricing change took place in May.