Walmart has struck out battling digital music rivals, but the company hopes it has more success with Vudu, the online video service that it purchased in 2010 to compete against Netflix and iTunes. Already available on the PlayStation 3 and connected HDTV and Blu-ray players, Vudu is finally catching up to the competition by adding support for the iPad today.
As part of a growing trend, Vudu is eschewing a dedicated app for an in-browser experience, though you can add a button to the home screen of the Apple tablet to launch the site. From there you can stream over 20,000 different movies or TV episodes, though Disney titles are a notable exception to the offerings. As with Netflix, you can watch an instant title on one device and then resume viewing it on another one.
A Vudu exec has told the Los Angeles Times that the number of users has tripled this year, but the service is still not prominently displayed on the Walmart Website -- just one of many links off the home page. The retailing giant may want to kick it up a notch given how much of a subscriber head start Netflix has -- and how unceremoniously Walmart's MP3 store died.