NBCUniversal-owned Fandango, which has evolved from a movie ticketing service to a more comprehensive entertainment brand, is merging its streaming services Vudu and FandangoNow.
The new Vudu-branded offering will feature 200,000 new releases and library titles. It will also become Roku’s official film and TV store in a revenue-sharing arrangement with the No. 1 U.S. streaming provider.
Fandando acquired Vudu from Walmart in early 2020. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Walmart had bought it in 2011 for $100 million and had positioned it in recent years as a vehicle for the company to potentially rival Amazon in the movie and TV space. The service is available in more than 75 million U.S. households with connected-TV devices households, according to a recent NPD Group estimate. Vudu has more than 60 million registered users and serves millions of consumers daily across Smart TVs, connected devices, mobile and online.
Customers of FandangoNow, which launched in 2016, can transfer their accounts and movie and TV collections to Vudu starting today and begin accessing their libraries via the new Vudu service. Roku’s Movie Store and TV Store will automatically update on Roku platforms.
Fandango president Paul Yanover said the transaction builds on the company’s moves in recent years to build a full-fledged digital network. Another key acquisition was review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, which has been integrated into the company’s platforms and has branched into original video content. Fandango also continues to operate three theatrical ticketing apps.
“During a time where consumers have a myriad of viewing options, we’re proud to deliver a service that presents an unparalleled library of content,” Yanover said in a press release, “many titles that are not available on subscription services, and the flexibility to pay as you go.”
In an interview with Deadline, Yanover pointed out the company’s significant portfolio of titles featuring 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision technology. While other players are offering some of that high-end fare, Fandango says its roster is available on the industry’s widest selection of platforms and devices, including Samsung, LG and Vizio smart TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and many others.
“Consumer excitement for premium video on-demand has grown significantly as users turn to streaming to access the latest movies and TV show releases,” said Tedd Cittadine, VP of content partnerships at Roku. “We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Fandango as we build a future where all TV will be streamed by creating a seamless experience for users to discover and enjoy premium video on-demand releases.”
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