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Vudu Moves Toward Ad-Supported Option

12 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel


Video-on-demand aggregator Vudu and online video platform Brightcove May 12 said they have partnered to enable easier distribution of ad-supported entertainment streams, including movies, into consumer homes.

Initial application includes a MyPlay feature that offers ad-supported music videos delivered from the Internet from Sony Music. Future distribution of ad-supported movies and TV programming now popularized by Hulu, TV.com and others, is also an option, according to spokesperson Erika Shaffer.

“This is the first ad-supported content Vudu has had,” Shaffer said. “There is always going to be the core [VOD] service. What this shows is that the platform enables all types of monetization.”

Vudu has not officially announced availability of ad-supported non-music content.

However, the burgeoning market for Hollywood movies and repurposed TV programming streamed into consumer homes on demand is largely predicated on the successful application of ad-supported content, say analysts.

Chris Johnson, director of technology with Brightcove, said consumer adoption of video-on-demand (VOD) and pay-per-view beyond the Internet remains a challenge.

Indeed a new study from The NPD Group found that just 9% of consumers said they would pay for VOD content — 3% would pay for digital downloads or streaming.

Johnson said Brightcove’s platform allows content owners to retain control of their advertising inventory while streamlining backend costs associated with delivering ad-supported streams.

Vudu, which delivers movies and TV content in high-definition via proprietary players starting from $149.99, said incorporating Brightcove’s video technology would enhance its distribution channel to advertisers.

Heretofore, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Vudu has offered its library of 13,000 movies only as electronic rentals from 99 cents (standard-definition) and purchase downloads from $1.99 (episodic TV) and $4.99 (movie).

“We are combining the selection and control of the online video experience with the visual richness and lean-back satisfaction of the television experience,” said Edward Lichty, EVP of strategy and content for Vudu.


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