Walmart has launched an exclusive in-store disc-to-digital service which gives DVD or Blu-ray owners the ability to view those movies on Internet-connected devices, including televisions, tablets, smart phones and gaming consoles. The service is powered by VUDU.
Walmart, in partnership with the 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, will launch the new service April 16th, 2012 in more than 3,500 stores.
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 conversion for standard DVDs and Blu-ray discs will be $2. Standard DVDs can be upgraded to High-Def (HD) for $5.
For studios who have watched DVD sales plummet over the last several years, the service allows them a chance to further monetize the installed base of owned discs, and also add value to any new discs consumers will buy. The feature also will blunt, to an extent, the value of other streaming services.
Users will need a VUDU account, which can be done at all Walmart Photo Centers. Owned discs from Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros. can be converted there as well.
Walmart will authorize the digital copies and place them in a user’s VUDU account. No upload is necessary, and users keep their physical discs.
At some point, Walmart also will offer customers the ability to watch and purchase UltraViolet-enabled titles directly from VUDU.