As films go digital, the megastore Walmart has launched a service that converts customers’ DVDs and Blu-Rays and upload them to its cloud storage, so the film can be viewed anywhere and on various devices from computers to iPads to mobile phones.
Called Disc-to-Digital, Walmart’s service will cost consumers $2 per DVD or Blu-Ray. The program began this week in 3,500 stores, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Six of the major film studios are on board the program including Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, Sony and Universal. DreamWorks Animation is now joining with films, such as Kung Fu Panda and Shrek.
Kids’ films are popular with DVD sales since repeated viewings are common. So far, Disney is not participating in the program.
Walmart, currently the largest retailer of DVDs at 40 percent in the US, will store the movies through its subsidiary Vudu.
Since customers prefer to rent movies and TV shows for one viewing, home video sales have dropped dramatically. This service is a way to own films digitally.
This arrangement could prove to be a boost for the UltraViolet business, a cloud-based storage system for films, launched in January, as Walmart converts new customers to the idea of streaming films.