Walmart’s Vudu streaming service, which lets you rent and buy movies on-demand, has launched a free section that’s entirely supported by advertising.
Walmart has dubbed the section “Vudu Movies on Us,” and it presents a no-cost alternative to heavyweights like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Though there are streaming services that offer totally free content, it’s usually shows or short-form videos, not movies.
Vudu has stocked the free tier with “thousands” of movie and TV titles, but don’t expect new releases. There are some quality titles in the catalogue: “True Grit,” “School of Rock,” “Margin Call,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Winter’s Bone,” “Hooisers,” and so on. There are some awful movies in there too.
But here’s the thing: It’s free. “Nothing is more affordable than free,” Jeremy Verba, VP and GM of Vudu, said in a statement. And he has a point.
Netflix has recently taken some heat for a lack of commitment to its older movie catalogue. Netflix’s selection of the top movies ever made, at least by IMDB ratings, seems to have gone down a substantial amount over the last two years. It’s likely that getting great movies from the past few decades simply isn’t the priority for a company pivoting hard into exclusive licenses and original content.
And that’s fine!
But if you are in the mood for some older movies, don’t want to spend a single cent, and haven’t developed a distaste for advertising while binge-watching Netflix, then take a gander at Vudu’s catalogue.
Just how many ads are we talking about here? “The ad load is pre-roll and mid-roll, so a few ads around 30 seconds before the content and a few breaks during,” a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider.
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