Wal-Mart’s Vudu Movie Service Offers Browser-Based IPad Access

Vudu, the Web-based film rental business owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), began offering a browser-based service that lets customers access movies on Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad.

Customers can search for, select and stream more than 20,000 movies and television shows from the Vudu.com site using an Internet browser, the Santa Clara, California-based Wal-Mart unit said in a statement today.

By using the browser, Vudu avoids paying Apple 30 percent of each sale, Edward Lichty, the company’s general manager, said in an interview. Customers can add a VUDU icon to their iPad desktops by clicking the “Add to Home Screen” button when on the website, he said.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, this year began enforcing a rule that requires developers to share proceeds when purchases are made within the applications instead of going to a website.

Vudu, Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and other movie providers have been trying to gain market share by emphasizing features not available on Netflix Inc. (NFLX)’s monthly streaming service. Vudu offers a la carte downloads the same day as DVDs or Blu-ray discs go into stores. It also offers high-definition films and stereo soundtracks.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has stayed away from the pay-per-view market, focusing on unlimited offerings for a monthly fee.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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