Digital movies are great. Thanks to the advent of cloud computing, smart televisions, and streaming online movie warehouses like Amazon Prime Video and Vudu (which is owned by Walmart (NYSE:WMT), by the way), it’s no longer necessary for consumers to own stacks of DVDs that lie around the apartment and clutter up the joint. Instead, you can build out an entire digital library of your favorite movies and television series “digitally” … and clutter up nothing but the cloud.
But there’s one caveat: What happens to your movies if your online movie service goes out of business?
Home viewers faced this question head on last summer when it was announced that online movie service UltraViolet was shutting down. Ultimately, the problem was solved by transferring the movies over to Disney‘s Movies Anywhere.
Regardless, consumers moved on to the next question: What happens if Walmart is next to lose interest in digital movies and decides to shut Vudu down?
Now we may have an answer to that question, as well: Vudu watchers may simply find their movies transferred to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
As The Wall Street Journal just reported, Walmart is losing interest in Vudu — but that’s OK because Comcast is in talks to acquire Vudu from Walmart.
The WSJ wasn’t able to learn much more about the talks other than that they’re happening, and noted that it’s possible no sale will result. If it does, though, Comcast would likely use Vudu in some way to complement the Fandango movie-ticket buying service that it also owns. (Like Fandango, Vudu would be owned by Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal. And like Vudu, Fandango also rents some movies digitally).
So nothing’s certain yet, but fingers are crossed: If this deal goes through, your digital movies might be safe after all.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short April 2020 $135 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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