Today a company called VUDU is announcing that they have closed deals with seven major movie studios including Walt Disney Studios, Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
These agreements are to allow instant access to over 5000 movie titles directly onto users TVs without needing a PC, or a cable or satellite TV subscription. "We've created the product everyone wants, the product many have tried to build, and, until now, the product no one has succeeded in delivering," said Tony Miranz, founder of VUDU. "We've brought together the best team in Silicon Valley to give movie lovers the ability to watch thousands of movies instantly, without leaving their homes."
These licensing agreements will allow access to new releases and select titles from existing libraries of movies. Additional deals have been made with 15 top tier independent and international film distributors as well. "VUDU has nailed the customer experience," said David Sze, a general partner at Greylock Partners. "We think this will be a real hit with people looking for the best and most convenient way to get movies into their living rooms.""There are very few teams in consumer electronics that truly understand how to build a product that will 'wow' the customer. This is one of those teams," added Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital. "VUDU has a combination of features that no one else can match: a phenomenal selection, incredibly easy interface, and the ability to instantly begin watching any movie you choose. The results are incredible."
Details are lacking about this service that is set to launch this summer. We don’t have specs on the hardware portion like hard drive size and the like. There is also no word on how the service will be priced. If the movies rent for the same price or very close to the same price as movies at Block Buster and the like it should be successful. If the hardware comes in for $500 and then the movies are $7 or $8 to rent then I think the service will fail miserably.
What I hope to see happen is the hardware is given to viewers for very low cost and the money is made back in contracts like satellite companies do. Ideally the service would carry a flat monthly fee for all the flicks you want to watch too. I think if they do this right it could be very successful, and if they come in thinking we hate driving to the movie store so badly that they can overcharge for the service and the hardware this will fail. Story and image via VUDU.