Walmart has done it again, they are introducing another innovative service that is well within consumers budgets. This time they are using their VUDU streaming video service to allow customers to transfer their old DVD and Blu-ray movie collection into rights to an online streaming version for a very low cost. Just $2 for regular DVD's and $5 for Blu-ray. I say, awesome!
Years ago I discussed with a friend how purchasing a CD like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon should guarantee future rights to that recording in whatever format is made available. Reason being, he had already worn out or damaged several recorded versions of the album and was constantly paying for addition copies. Shouldn't he have been afforded some kind of download rights?
I loved this concept and the idea has remained with me eve since. I am pleased to see that notion being expressed in Walmart's newest service. Who doesn't want to shed the bulk of their old DVD collection and replace it with 24/7 access to high-quality online streaming versions. It's a no-brainer. You can even upgrade to HD versions.
John Aden, executive vice president for general merchandising at Walmart U.S. comments on the new DVD to digital service:
“Walmart is helping America get access to their DVD library,”
“Walmart Entertainment’s new disc-to-digital service will allow our customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve made in disc purchases over the years. We believe this revolutionary in-store service will unlock new value for already-owned DVDs, and will encourage consumers to continue building physical and digital movie libraries in the future.”
As i've already mentioned I would love to see similar programs offered for CD's, if anybody knows about some that already exist I would love to hear from you. This service is a first step to bringing many consumer's highly-chrished DVD collections into the modern streaming digital format to enjoy in a more convenient way.
To bring consumers this opportunity Walmart has partnered with several Movie studios including Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Paramount Studios, and Warner Home Video. Lets hear a little from these studios about the partnership:
Dennis Maguire, president of Worldwide Home Media Distribution and Paramount Pictures comments:
“Consumers today want new and flexible ways to enjoy movies and Walmart’s disc-to-digital program will be another important avenue to introduce Paramount movies on this new platform to a broader, more comprehensive audience,”
“The unmatched reach of Walmart – which serves over 140 million consumers every week – means we can quickly grow awareness for this unique technology throughout every region across the country.”
Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video also adds his commentary on the partnership:
“Consumers want value and convenience and Walmart’s disc-to-digital service will deliver both while helping consumers realize the benefits of digital ownership,”
“Between the heavy foot traffic in-store and the aggressive educational campaign Walmart is planning, this partnership is the perfect opportunity for us to reach a mainstream audience much sooner than by more traditional means, while making the process as quick and easy for consumers as possible.”
I reported earlier this month that Neil Young is attempting to introduce a new platform which would present a truly lossless musical version of studio recordings. I would love to see Walmart offer a similar service on his platform is it ever comes to light. Sound quality is still an issue relevant to many music fans and offering deals like this on upgraded formats would really springboard a sound quality resurgence form a consumer perspective.
Simon Swart, executive vice president and general manager in North America of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment comments on the timing of the service:
“With Walmart’s new disc-to-digital service, there has never been a better time to own movies,”
“There are more than 100 million households in the US that have an existing DVD or Blu-ray library. It is now possible to digitize those movies conveniently and enjoy the benefits that ownership gives at home or any place you go.”
Thanks Walmart, this is a great idea and a useful service. I don't think anybody can deny the superstore's consistent commitment to anticipating and delivering on consumer's needs.