Walmart (NYSE: WMT) wishes it had a viable competitor to Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime streaming video service. It says it does, which is barely the case. The Walmart product is VUDU and it is hard to find it at walmart.com, which shows the extent to which the world’s largest retailer’s Prime killer is hardly part of its arsenal against Amazon.
Amazon’s Prime is more than streaming video. It also offers free shipping for part of Amazon’s huge inventory. For $10.99 a month, members also get streaming music and unlimited photo storage. Amazon is so confident in the service that it has spent tens of millions of dollars to create its own original programming.
Walmart’s VUDU description makes it seem more like a store than like a service:
Why wait for your movie or TV show when you can view it instantly with Video on Demand by VUDU?
Video on Demand by VUDU lets you watch the videos you want in high definition, with no monthly fees and no late fees. Browse our huge selection of movies, including new releases, and choose the ones you want to rent or buy. The movies you choose will be available instantly to watch on your computer or TV.
You can also enjoy instant viewing when you buy select Blu-rays or DVDs, with InstaWatch powered by VUDU. InstaWatch allows you to stream your movie instantly on any device, even before your disc arrives.
“No monthly fees” seems like a bargain. However, a popular movie like “Deadpool” costs $5.99. Two movies at this price make VUDU more expensive than Prime is. And, without any of Prime’s other benefits
Walmart bought VUDU in early 2010 for over $100 million. Based on its visibility at walmart.com, the retailer got robbed