Vudu gaining on Apple’s iTunes?

Forbes says “Apple needs to watch its back” citing recent stats from Screen Digest which put Walmart in a deadlock with Amazon — both in third place with 750,000 online movie transactions in the last quarter of 2010. Leading the market, of course, is Apple with a 64% share, followed by Microsoft with just 8%. But Vudu, which was purchased by Walmart in February of 2010, has only to gain with the retail giant doing $3.5 billion worth of DVD business per year.

Vudu started off as a set-top-box to stream and download movies but repositioned itself as software which can be integrated into HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players, videogame consoles and other devices. In July, 2009, LG was the first electronics company to integrate Vudu into an HDTV, paving the way for the now 300 supported devices.

With Apple’s iTunes really only selling movies on iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macintosh computers, Vudu (lead by Walmart), sees a whole world outside of Steve Jobs’ “i” brands. But no so fast. Steve Jobs’ and Apple sold a whopping $385 million worth of online movies in 2010. Those are big numbers from such little devices.

But for the frugal, Walmart and Vudu have got an edge. Apple’s iTunes movies generally cost $3.99 ($4.99 HD) for 24-hours. Walmart’s HD quality flicks cost $2 for two nights. Someone will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff has a background in photography, video and television production. He writes about technology, broadcasting, home theater, and digital entertainment.

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