Retail News Breaks Archives
Walmart to offer new digital DVD service
March 13th, 2012
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart is launching a new service that will allow consumers to digitize the movies they own on DVD or Blu-ray, and then watch them on their smart phones, computers or other Internet-connected devices.
"Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library," said John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising at Walmart U.S. "Walmart Entertainment’s new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future."
Walmart is making the move in partnership with five major Hollywood studios: Paramount Home Media Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Beginning on April 16, Walmart customers will be able to bring their DVD and Blu-ray collections to Walmart and receive digital access to their favorite titles from the partnering studios. An equal conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.
Vudu, a video streaming company Walmart acquired early last year, is powering the new service. When customers come in with DVDs from the participating movie studios, store associates will help them set up free Vudu accounts. Authorized digital copies of the movies will then be placed in those accounts, which the consumers can log into with a wide variety of digital devices.
Walmart and the participating movie studios see the new service as supporting the continued ownership of DVDs and Blu-ray discs in an era when consumers increasingly watch movies on devices other than their televisions. Aden said that Walmart asked thousands of its customers for the opinions and preferences regarding movie ownership, and based its new service on their preferences.