Walmart has signed an agreement to divest its video streaming service Vudu to movie ticketing firm Fandango, the retail giant confirmed Monday (April 20). Walmart first began shopping this sideline business in late 2019 as the company decided to focus more intently on its core retail business.
The financial terms of this deal were not disclosed by either party, but Walmart said the transaction should close in a few months. Walmart acquired Vudu in February 2010 for an undisclosed amount, non-material to the company’s financial balance sheet.
Over the past decade, Vudu grew to 14.5 million users by app downloads and is on 100 million living room devices across the U.S. That said, the business would require substantially more investment to curate original content as the retailer first started exploring in late 2018.
Walmart partnered with Eko in October 2018 to curate interactive content that would enable the retailer to connect with customers in new and more meaningful ways through frequent engagement. That content was to include a variety of programming from cooking shows to an interactive toy catalog. Walmart also worked with various partners over the past few years to expand access to movie titles and television shows available for streaming on Vudu.
“We’re proud of how we’ve grown Vudu into one of the leading video-on-demand platforms in the industry,” Walmart corporate spokesman Rayi Jariwala said in a statement. “We’re pleased to be joining forces with Fandango, whose core business can maximize the unique strengths of Vudu into the future. We look forward to working with their team to bring even more value to Vudu customers.”
Walmart told Talk Business & Politics the deal with Fandango would allow Vudu customers to have uninterrupted access to their Vudu library and the ability to login via their Walmart account and make purchases through Walmart wallet.
“We will continue to invest in areas where we have the greatest strength and are in the best position to serve our customers today and in the future,” Jariwala said.
Jariwala said the company is focusing on investments that bring digital and physical capabilities together to provide customers choices and convenience.
“We’re actively prioritizing our investments to maximize our strengths and serve them in new ways,” he said.