Wal-Mart has become the latest company to try and skirt Apple's subscription revenue sharing policy.
Wal-Mart is bringing Vudu, its video-on-demand movie service, to the iPad. However, it has not created an app. Like Amazon before it, Wal-Mart is avoiding having to share revenues with Apple by making its video streaming service on web browsers only.
iPad users who have a Vudu account can go to VUDU.com and access the service that way. Wal-Mart says Vudu offers 20,000 TV episodes and movies available instantly. Instead of a direct app on the iPad home screen, Wal-Mart says users can be put on the iPad screen. When touched, it will go to the Vudu.com website.
The service is not a typical subscription service. However, like any other app that sells content, Vudu would have had to give 30 percent of its revenues to Apple had the service been an app. A lot of app publishers protested Apple's revenue sharing terms and services when they were announced.
Amazon.com Inc., was the first company to skirt this issue when it announced its Kindle iPad service would be offered on the web, rather than an app. Wal-Mart is now following in its footsteps.
Wal-Mart is also making the movies available on Walmart.com/VUDU, VUDU.com or on any VUDU-enabled consumer electronics device. The service is also available on more than 300 consumer electronics devices according to Wal-Mart including Internet-capable HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and the PlayStation 3 - more than any other pay-per-view service.
"At Walmart, one of our key priorities is to provide one continuous experience for our customers to interact with our brand - whether that is in stores, online or from their mobile devices. VUDU's launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we're committed to offering the VUDU experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want," said Edward Lichty, general manager, VUDU.