Vudu, which sells a set-top box for Internet movie rentals and downloads, is slashing prices to boost sales: You can now buy a Vudu box for $99 — plus a mandatory $50 in movie credits — a $200 discount. Will that be enough to make Vudu catch on?
Probably not. While there’s a definite business opportunity for on-demand video rentals, we think it’s most likely to be scooped up by the cable industry. Why? Cable companies like Comcast (CMCSA) and Verizon (VZ) already have set-top boxes in millions of living rooms, already have business relationships with consumers, and own the pipes their hi-def video flows through.
Sure, Vudu does more than movie rentals — you can watch YouTube movies and look at Flickr photos from your couch. But is that worth $150 and a precious HD input on your TV? Probably not. (And how long until you can do that with your cable box? Probably not too long.)
What might we spend $150 for? Something that can do all that plus access free, ad-supported Web video from Hulu and the networks, Netflix (NFLX) streams, and other services like MLB.TV, Major League Baseball’s streaming service. Get on it, Vudu!
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