/// Surprise! Walmart’s Cloud Movie Service Is Pretty Good!
I am very, very skeptical about Walmart’s new “disc to digital” service , where you pay money to convert your old DVDs into files you can access from the cloud. Who wants to haul their discs to a store — and take out their credit card — to do something that should work at home, for free? BTIG Research’s Rich Greenfield has the same take, more or less. But Greenfield has actually gone ahead and tried the service out ( registration required ), and he thinks the experience itself is … really good: “We believe Vudu is a very well done iVOD/EST service and, at worst, Vudu will gain far greater consumer awareness from the industry’s disc-to-digital marketing campaign.” I still think the overall concept is flawed here. If Hollywood wants people to embrace this idea, which is designed to promote high-margin movie purchases instead of lower-margin rentals, it shouldn’t involve travel and an upfront payment. And some of the fine print will trip people up, as well. As I noted last month, Walmart’s scheme comes with some important asterisks, like the fact that Disney/Pixar titles won’t work, and that iPad users can only stream the files to their machine, and can’t download them. But give Walmart credit for a digital product that seemingly does at least some of what it ought to do, right out of the box. Greenfield has a seven-minute walk-through of the process (spoiler: contains no violence, nudity or adult themes), if you’re interested: