Wal-Mart sells more DVDs than just about anybody on the planet, but have so far been shut out of the increasingly popular movie streaming business that's buoyed Netflix recently. Vudu gives them a convenient way into that market without having to build from the ground up.
For Vudu, selling out couldn't come at a better time: they've never been profitable, although they've been gaining some traction by having their players embedded in increasing numbers of TVs. Being owned by the world's largest retailer will help them build on that momentum. It also gives consumer electronics makers even more incentive to preload their sets with Vudu, since Wal-Mart will be more inclined to sell products that incorporate a property that it owns.
But what about for consumers? Actually, it could end up being a win there, too. Nobody's more effective at driving down prices than the big box retailer, and giving Vudu more visibility and market share should lead to some healthy price competition.
Time will tell, but the could be one business transaction that ends up making sense for just about everyone. [NY Times]