Comcast’s NBCUniversal is reportedly in talks to buy VUDU, the Walmart-owned VOD rental, download and free streaming service.
Speculation is NBCU will merge VUDU with Fandango Now, boosting NBCU’s digital-video presence ahead of the launch of its streaming service Peacock which will have a hybrid free and paid model.
Walmart acquired VUDU in 2010 for a reported $100 million and in 2016 began offering free, ad-supported library content to its service and more recently began delivering original shows on the free platform.
VUDU says it currently offers over 10,000 titles for free, plus some 150,000 titles to rent or buy including new releases in 4K Ultra HD. For large film rental and TV libraries, VUDU is often the third go-to option behind much larger international juggernauts Amazon and Apple’s iTunes.
That’s not all in acquisition talk today though as Fox Corp., the non-Disney acquired part of Murdoch’s company, is reportedly in discussions for an over $500 million deal that would seem them acquiring Tubi, the ad-supported free streaming service which offers over 20,000 older TV shows and movies to watch for free.
Tubi’s monthly active user base grew to 25 million by December with over 163 million hours watched by its users. All this follows on from ViacomCBS acquiring free streamer Pluto TV for $340 million in cash last year, with the ad-supported streaming space becoming a hot ticket this year it seems.
Source: The Wall Street Journal