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February 22, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Ben Fritz
Wal-Mart Stores, tapping into the potentially lucrative business of selling movies directly into the home via the Internet, has agreed to buy struggling digital distributor Vudu. The move is a bet by the retail giant, the largest seller of DVDs in the country, that consumers eventually are going to rely upon online services to watch movies rather than buy them from Wal-Mart or rent from Blockbuster. DVD sales have declined in recent years, forcing retailers and studios to look at digital distribution to make up the gap. "Combining Vudu's unique digital technology and service with Wal-Mart's retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options, as they migrate to a digital environment," Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright said in a statement.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
After eschewing UltraViolet, a technology standard backed by its main movie business competitors, Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. has launched a proprietary cloud-based movie service that gives users online access to their digital and physical Disney movie purchases.  Disney Movies Anywhere launched Tuesday and is available on Apple iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. It acts as a so-called "digital movie locker," allowing users...
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
After eschewing UltraViolet, a technology standard backed by its main movie business competitors, Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. has launched a proprietary cloud-based movie service that gives users online access to their digital and physical Disney movie purchases.  Disney Movies Anywhere launched Tuesday and is available on Apple iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. It acts as a so-called "digital movie locker," allowing users...
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
In a bid to spur digital movie purchases, Sony Pictures has struck a deal with Wal-Mart's Vudu video streaming service to add video sharing and other features to new releases including "This Is the End" and "After Earth" as well as forthcoming titles such as "Smurfs 2" and "One Direction. " The feature, dubbed Vudu Extras+, will enable consumers who've bought a movie through the online service - or deposited a copy in their digital storage locker - to search for scenes or lines of dialogue, or clip and share a film vignette on Facebook or Twitter.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
"Clueless," "Mission: Impossible III," "Forrest Gump" and several hundred other older films are now available on Amazon.com's Netflix-like subscription video service as part of a new deal with Paramount Pictures. Amazon has been continually beefing up the content in its Prime Instant Video service, which lets users stream unlimited movies and television shows on computers and digitally connected devices. It's part of the $79 per year Amazon Prime subscription that includes free two-day shipping on many items sold by the Web retail giant.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
In an effort to strengthen its retail business, Walt Disney Co. has consolidated sales of toys, books, apparel, DVDs and video games under a single division to be headed by Robert Chapek, the newly named president of consumer products. The former distribution chief for Walt Disney Studios will oversee an expanded consumer products group that will handle retail and licensing across the entertainment giant's businesses, from its film units — Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Disney — to the interactive media and television groups.
BUSINESS
April 26, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart customers, the majority of whom pay with cash when shopping in stores, now have the option to do the same online with the giant retailer's new “Pay With Cash” option. Shoppers on Walmart.com who either don't have a credit card or don't want to use one because of security reasons can now go the cash route. Hitting the selection sends the customer an email receipt with an order number that must be presented at a physical Wal-Mart store within 48 hours. After paying with cash there, the purchased items are shipped either to the store or to the buyer's home.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Consumers are renting fewer movies in total even as they make the switch to digital from physical media. The total number of movies rented by Americans in the first half of 2012 declined 10% compared to the same period a year ago, according to a consumer survey by the NPD Group. The research firm did not provide information on the total number of movies rented. Within that overall decline, rentals of DVDs and high-definition Blu-ray discs dropped a more sizable 17%. However, online rentals from video-on-demand outlets like Comcast and iTunes and subscription services like Netflix grew 5% during the January-to-June period.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Eager to grow their digital cloud movie service Ultraviolet, Hollywood studios are beginning to let consumers convert their DVDs into digital copies from home. On Thursday, online movie store CinemaNow quietly launched a beta test of a new disc-to-digital service. After downloading software, consumers need only insert an eligible DVD into their computer and pay between $2 and $5 to get a copy of that movie stored in their Ultraviolet digital locker. A spokeswoman for CinemNow parent company Best Buy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Cinedigm is growing Down Under. The Los Angeles-based company said Monday it has acquired the digital and video-on-demand rights (in North America and Latin America) to more than 1,000 episodes of television from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. library. The deal represents a major push into the international marketplace for Cinedigm, best known for helping theaters convert to digital technology. The company has embarked on an ambitious strategy to transform itself into a leading digital distributor of independent movies, documentaries and TV shows - not just to theaters but to a plethora of digital devices and outlets.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
The home entertainment business is growing again, albeit slowly, despite the fact that people continue to spend less on DVDs. After years of declines, total consumer spending on movies for home use grew 2% in the first half of the year to $8.63 billion. People increasingly spent money to access or own digital copies of movies, which helped make up for declining sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. A 15% increase in  sales of more expensive Blu-rays helped offset an overall decline in disc sales of about 5%. FULL COVERAGE: Home Entertainment Most of the business went to online retailers Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc.'s iTunes store, Best Buy Co.'s CinemaNow, Google Play and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Vudu.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Cinedigm is growing Down Under. The Los Angeles-based company said Monday it has acquired the digital and video-on-demand rights (in North America and Latin America) to more than 1,000 episodes of television from the Australian Broadcasting Corp. library. The deal represents a major push into the international marketplace for Cinedigm, best known for helping theaters convert to digital technology. The company has embarked on an ambitious strategy to transform itself into a leading digital distributor of independent movies, documentaries and TV shows - not just to theaters but to a plethora of digital devices and outlets.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Ben Fritz
Wal-Mart is expanding a program for consumers to obtain online versions of their DVDs -- without leaving home. Last spring, Wal-Mart was the first company to launch a disc-to-digital program, charging between $2 and $5 to convert consumers' DVDs and Blu-ray discs to a digital form stored in the Internet cloud. It was part of the Ultraviolet online initiative backed by every major movie company except Walt Disney Studios. Later this month, Wal-Mart will allow consumers to convert their DVDs and Blu-rays to Ultraviolet copies from home by using the retail giant's online video service Vudu.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Eager to grow their digital cloud movie service Ultraviolet, Hollywood studios are beginning to let consumers convert their DVDs into digital copies from home. On Thursday, online movie store CinemaNow quietly launched a beta test of a new disc-to-digital service. After downloading software, consumers need only insert an eligible DVD into their computer and pay between $2 and $5 to get a copy of that movie stored in their Ultraviolet digital locker. A spokeswoman for CinemNow parent company Best Buy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Consumers are renting fewer movies in total even as they make the switch to digital from physical media. The total number of movies rented by Americans in the first half of 2012 declined 10% compared to the same period a year ago, according to a consumer survey by the NPD Group. The research firm did not provide information on the total number of movies rented. Within that overall decline, rentals of DVDs and high-definition Blu-ray discs dropped a more sizable 17%. However, online rentals from video-on-demand outlets like Comcast and iTunes and subscription services like Netflix grew 5% during the January-to-June period.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
"Clueless," "Mission: Impossible III," "Forrest Gump" and several hundred other older films are now available on Amazon.com's Netflix-like subscription video service as part of a new deal with Paramount Pictures. Amazon has been continually beefing up the content in its Prime Instant Video service, which lets users stream unlimited movies and television shows on computers and digitally connected devices. It's part of the $79 per year Amazon Prime subscription that includes free two-day shipping on many items sold by the Web retail giant.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has begun rolling out its plan to spur digital movie purchases by removing the technological obstacles that thus far have stymied growth. The studio has quietly launched Disney Movies Online, which lets consumers buy or rent digital versions of Disney and Pixar films and watch them on the Internet. The site was conceived as a bridge to gently transition the family entertainment company's mainstream consumers from the physical to the digital world. It debuted in May without fanfare.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
The home entertainment business is growing again, albeit slowly, despite the fact that people continue to spend less on DVDs. After years of declines, total consumer spending on movies for home use grew 2% in the first half of the year to $8.63 billion. People increasingly spent money to access or own digital copies of movies, which helped make up for declining sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs. A 15% increase in  sales of more expensive Blu-rays helped offset an overall decline in disc sales of about 5%. FULL COVERAGE: Home Entertainment Most of the business went to online retailers Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc.'s iTunes store, Best Buy Co.'s CinemaNow, Google Play and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Vudu.
BUSINESS
April 26, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Wal-Mart customers, the majority of whom pay with cash when shopping in stores, now have the option to do the same online with the giant retailer's new “Pay With Cash” option. Shoppers on Walmart.com who either don't have a credit card or don't want to use one because of security reasons can now go the cash route. Hitting the selection sends the customer an email receipt with an order number that must be presented at a physical Wal-Mart store within 48 hours. After paying with cash there, the purchased items are shipped either to the store or to the buyer's home.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
In an effort to strengthen its retail business, Walt Disney Co. has consolidated sales of toys, books, apparel, DVDs and video games under a single division to be headed by Robert Chapek, the newly named president of consumer products. The former distribution chief for Walt Disney Studios will oversee an expanded consumer products group that will handle retail and licensing across the entertainment giant's businesses, from its film units — Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Disney — to the interactive media and television groups.
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