Apr 20, 2020 - Economy

Fandango buys video service Vudu from Walmart

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fandango, the digital movie ticketing company owned mostly by NBCUniversal, has acquired the free, ad-supported video service Vudu from Walmart, Vudu announced Monday. Deal terms weren't disclosed.

Why it matters: Big media companies are investing in ad-supported streaming services that could help them transition their dying TV ad businesses to digital while also bolstering their streaming offerings.

Details: All of Vudu's movies and TV shows remain on the platform after the acquisition, according to its website. All promotion codes and offers are still valid.

  • Users can continue to use their Walmart.com account credentials to sign into the Vudu service and access saved content on their Vudu profiles.

By the numbers: Vudu is available on more than 100 million living room devices across America, including smart TVs, game consoles, over-the-top (OTT) streaming devices, computers, etc.

The big picture: Vudu was one of the last ad-supported streaming platforms that was nearing a sale to a major media company. While much attention is paid to subscription streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the free, ad-supported streaming platforms are still highly lucrative and popular.

  • Fox bought Tubi, a free, ad-supported streamer for $440 million in March.
  • Comcast acquired Xumo, a similar service, the month before.
Data: PwC and Digital TV Research; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: PwC and Digital TV Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

What's next: It's likely that Fandango will use the Vudu acquisition to bolster its existing streaming business. Fandango already has a small movie streaming platform called FandangoNOW, which it built off of an acquisition and rebrand in 2016.

  • The acquisition is expected to close in the next several months.

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