Fandango, a digital entertainment and movie ticket service owned by NBCUniversal, is buying competitor Vudu from Walmart.
In a blog post, Vudu promised users that “nothing about the Vudu experience is changing – your movie and TV library is safe, and you will continue to have access to all your Vudu apps across your favorite devices.” The financial terms of were not disclosed.
Vudu said that users can continue using their Walmart.com credentials to sign into the service and that, for the time being, both the Vudu and FandangoNow brands will continue to exist.
Walmart reportedly began shopping around Vudu last year. Earlier this year, NBCUniversal was rumored to be in talks to buy Vudu, which Variety said could be merged with FandangoNow.
Fandango, known widely as a movie ticket sales service, is a unit of NBCUniversal (Warner Bros. holds a minority stake in the company). The company was founded in 2000 and acquired by Comcast in 2007. In 2016, Fandango bought M-Go, and later rebranded it as FandangoNow, a digital storefront for renting or purchasing movies and TV shows.
As movie theaters remain shut down and studios experiment with premium-priced VOD releases for new movies, FandangoNow has been able to have some success. The recent straight-to-digital release for DreamWorks’ new “Trolls: World Tour” gave the service its best weekend ever.
“Following weeks of anticipation for its home premiere, ‘Trolls World Tour’ is now FandangoNow’s streaming debut champ, with the best preorders, first day and opening weekend sales we’ve ever seen,” said FandangoNow Head Cameron Douglas in a statement. “We’re pleased that families looking for a much-needed entertainment break are enjoying DreamWorks Animation’s latest movie on our service.”
Walmart bought Vudu in 2010 for a reported $100 million. In 2018, Walmart began plans for original series and movies on Vudu. That came after Walmart had reportedly abandoned plans to build its own streaming service – one that would target consumers in middle America.