Long-time transactional video on demand (VOD) streaming movie service Vudu, currently owned by Walmart, is being acquired by Comcast-owned movie ticket and VOD service Fandango for an undisclosed amount.

Under the deal, Vudu, which was acquired by Walmart 10 years ago for $100 million, will continue to provide backend support to Walmart’s online digital movie business. Existing Vudu users will continue to have access to purchased movies streamed from Vudu cloud servers, according to MediaPlay News.

Vudu has access to 100 million households and nearly 15 million app downloads, according the report.

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Unclear is whether or not Fandango plans to integrate Vudu into its current transactional movie service, or continue to run Vudu as a standalone service.

In an email to Vudu customers, the company said “While there will be many more exciting things to share in the months ahead, nothing about the Vudu experience is changing – your movie & TV library is safe, and you will continue to have access to all your Vudu apps across your favorite devices. Vudu will continue to deliver an amazing experience, and we promise that the future will bring more new features, offerings, and other benefits as we join the Fandango family.”

For its part, Walmart plans to continue focus selling both physical media and digital transactions through its stores and on Walmart.com. The discount store giant reportedly had been trying to sell Vudu for the past few months.

Vudu was among the earliest over-the-top digital movie services, and expanded its offering in 2017 by allowing customers to convert physical DVD and Blu-ray movie discs to digital copies for a small fee. It later became a major partner in the UltraViolet digital content locker program that encouraged providing access to movie titles in multiple formats (digital and physical) for one price. UltraViolet was eventually supplanted by the Movies Anywhere service advocated by Disney for using its Key Chest encryption system. Both Movies Anywhere and Vudu continue to offer the disc-and-digital program for supported titles today.

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By Greg Tarr

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