July 07, 2011
| by Julie Jacobson
Did you hear the one about driving to Walmart to buy a “movie card” that you take home and then enter a code into the computer so you can stream a movie?
It’s true! Walmart is selling the $14.96 digital movie cards for Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles for enjoyment through the Vudu streaming movie service, acquired by Walmart last year.
It all makes perfectly good sense in the press release, right?
“Digital movie cards are a great way for Walmart’s millions of movie customers to own and watch digital movies through the VUDU service,” said Edward Lichty, general manager, VUDU. “By partnering with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on this exclusive, new movie card, we’re transforming a physical purchase into a digital ownership experience, in a way that is easy for customers to understand and access.”
Huh? “Easy for customers to understand and access”?!
I wasn’t even going to write about this silliness, which sets the streaming video business back about five years. The good news is: I don’t have to write it. Christophor Rick of ReelSEO did it for me, in his elegantly penned, “VUDU & Wal-Mart To Sell Stupid, Overpriced Movie Cards For Digital Films.”
What the Flip is that all about? Why would you want to go to a brick-and-mortar shop to get a card that gives you access to a digital copy, pay for it with your debit/credit card and then haul it all the way back to your house just so you can type in a, most likely, 16-digit code to get access to the movie when you could just pay online and have access without the wasted gasoline, time and 16-digit code entry?
My thoughts exactly.
Read the Vudu/Walmart press release.
By the way, you can currently purchase the Blu-rayDVD combo for the movie from Amazon for as little as $17.93 (plus shipping). The Vudu version in the card offer is only for a standard definition version and includes no bonus features. Vudu sells the 1080p download for $19.99 or you can rent it for $5.99.
Would you buy an Amazon card to download a movie or MP3 or just do it directly from the site with your credit card? What about iTunes? They make good gifts… but for yourself?
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.