Walmart’s Vudu movie streaming service is ready to pipe movies directly to your iPad. But don’t look for the traditional iOS app. There isn’t one. Vudu is streaming movies over a web app, which doesn’t force Walmart to share revenue with Apple.
Vudu is skirting Apple’s new terms of service that requires sharing revenue. Much like Amazon’s new Kindle Cloud Reader, Vudu can offer all the functionality of a streaming vide app through the magic of Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) without dealing with the App Store and its approval police or revenue tax collectors.
The tablet-specific web app is already live and ready for consumption. Users will find Vudu’s 20k-strong streaming library accessible through an intuitive interface based around cover art. It allows for reviews, trailers, and even a wish list. This move to the iPad isn’t all that surprising as the service is now streaming, via the web, to desktops through Walmart.com. Movies purchased on Walmart.com are also available for viewing on the iPad.
Avoiding sharing revenue isn’t the only benefit to the web app. The company can roll out updates as it sees fit and doesn’t have to deal with the App Store’s approval process when adding new features. This sort of autonomy isn’t possible with the App Store.
iPhone users aren’t exactly left out of the phone. The service does currently work on the device, but it’s not currently optimized for the smaller screen. Vudu says the iPad is just the first supported device and other hardware platforms, including Android, are currently in the works.
Vudu has always been considered the little brother to Netflix. That might be changing, though. The streaming service tends to get movies online quicker than Netflix, and its recent expansion onto new hardware shows that it’s ready to expand from the set-top box. All they need now is a competitive all-you-can-eat subscription plan that includes access to their beautiful HDX titles and they’ll start winning over Netflix doubters.