launches Vudu streaming video service

As a number of Netflix subscribers state they will be dumping the video streaming service due to higher fees, a competitor to Netflix has announced it is offering its own streaming service over at one of the biggest retail web sites. CNNMoney reports that Wal-Mart has started offering streaming movie and TV show rentals and purchases on the web site. The service is powered by Vudu, a company which Wal-Mart acquired back in 2010.

The streaming video service currently has about 20,000 titles to rent or purchase but it doesn't currently offer a monthly "all you can eat" subscription plan that Netflix offers for $7.99 a month. While Vudu currently doesn't have any plans to offer a subscription plan the service does have some special deals such a new movie every day for a 99 cent rental. In a nod to its customers, the Friday 99 cent movie rental will be picked by the users of Vudu's Facebook page. Normal rental prices peak at $5.99 and it also offers a selection of titles that can be viewed via 3D glasses on a 3D enabled monitor or TV screen.

This is actually Wal-Mart's third attempt to become a Netflix competitor. It launched its own DVD mail order rental service a number of years ago but shut down that business in 2005 and directed its remaining customers over to Netflix. In 2006 it launched a movie download service but shut it down a year later after one of its partners decided to pull out of the arrangement.

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