Wal-Mart says it is moving its Vudu video streaming and DVD rental service to the company's main Web site, Walmart.com, just two weeks after Netflix announced new price increases that angered many of its customers.
Streaming video has been gaining momentum as more people use iPads and other electronic devices to watch TV shows and movies. Apple is reportedly among several companies interested in possibly buying a Hulu, another popular online video service. Hulu's owners include Disney, News Corp. and Comcast Corp.
Millions of Netflix customers have threatened to drop or scale back on its service following a recent 60 percent price increase for certain plans.
Although Wal-Mart doesn't have monthly membership plans like Netflix, the company said it plans to offer movie rentals for $1 to $5.99 depending on the title. Previously, Wal-Mart had operated Vudu separately from Walmart.com. Wal-Mart bought Vudu last year to gain an entry into the fast-growing segment. Wal-Mart won't say how many customers use Vudu, but it say the number has "tripled" since Christmas.
Blockbuster offers DVD-by-mail or in stores, but the company doesn't offer streaming video services.
In addition to streaming video from its Web site, Wal-Mart said customers will be able to have a video sent to their home or to a Wal-Mart store for pick-up.