Vudu, Wal-mart’s streaming video-on-demand service, is now available for use on the iPad. Don’t go looking for a Vudu app in the App Store though, because you won’t find it. Instead of launching an app, Vudu has updated its website to be compatible with Apple devices, using a mobile web experience to avoid Apple fees.
The Vudu website for the iPad is specially designed for the tablet, providing a streamlined viewing experience of purchased movies. iPad access doesn’t incur any additional costs, but unfortunately, the content is only available in standard definition and Disney movies are not included because of licensing issues.
Back in April, we wondered how Vudu would bring content to the iPad given its pricing system, which only allows for on-demand rentals rather than subscriptions that work with Apple’s pricing models. It seems we’ve got an answer now – with web streaming, Wal-mart is able to avoid sharing revenue with Apple.
To use the new Vudu mobile website, visit Vudu.com on your iPad and browse through Vudu’s entertainment library, which includes over 20,000 films and TV episodes. Content can be purchased directly and watched instantly, right on the iPad. While it does also work on the iPhone, it’s not properly formatted for the screen size. Vudu is encouraging users to add an app-like Vudu website button to the iPad desktop using Safari’s “Add to Home Screen” button, a tactic also used by the Financial Times when it created a mobile website to skirt Apple fees.
The iPad is the first tablet to get a dedicated mobile storefront, but Vudu is planning on bringing the functionality to more devices in the future, including Android tablets and phones. This is part of Vudu’s quest to be universally available, and currently, the service is compatible with over 300 web-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, gaming devices, and more.