Walmart’s Streaming Video App Is Coming to Apple TV
Walmart’s streaming video service, Vudu, is finally headed to Apple TV.
Variety reports that the Vudu app will be available for download on Apple TV set-top devices starting on Tuesday, August 22. Previously, Apple TV owners have only been able to watch movies and television shows rented through Vudu by using various workarounds, such as the Apple TV’s AirPlay feature.
Walmart (WMT) acquired Vudu in 2010 and the subscription-free streaming service’s app, which allows users to rent or buy more than 100,000 film and TV titles, is already supported on most major streaming platforms and devices. Vudu also supports the digital video cloud locker UltraViolet, the entertainment industry’s standard for storing the digital rights to videos and shows purchased online to be shared and viewed later on various devices.
Apple (AAPL) had been the most notable long-time holdout when it comes to adding the Vulu app among companies marketing streaming devices and platforms. And the announcement that Vudu is finally headed to Apple TV follows similar news from earlier this year, when Apple announced that the Amazon Prime Video app will finally be available on Apple TV at some point in 2017. (No official date has been offered.)
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Apple competes with services like Vudu and Amazon’s Prime in the market for digital video rentals and sales, with Apple’s share of that market declining in recent years amid increased competition. That helps explain Apple’s reticence in welcoming those streaming competitors onto its own hardware, with tech news site Apple Insider noting that the company’s policies discourage third-party services from selling video content through Apple’s mobile and TV operating systems.
But the tech giant is also looking to boost its share of the market for set-top box hardware sales, where it has been trailing products like Amazon’s Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast, as well as Roku’s agnostic line of devices. Of course, Apple is also looking to compete more with tech rivals like Amazon and Google on several entertainment fronts, especially after reportedly allocating $1 billion to fund production of original video content over the next year.