In an effort to sell more movie downloads through its Vudu streaming service, Walmart has paired up with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to launch Vudu Extras+ that offers bonus features normally found on DVDs and Blu-rays.
Only select titles from Sony, including "District 9," will now offer the interactive "Enhanced Scene Search" and "Clip & Share" features, along with deleted scenes, making-of featurettes and movie trivia, available on the cloud through UltraViolet.
Through "Clip & Share," viewers will be able to share clips of a film on Facebook and Twitter, essentially turning them into marketing tools for the studio, considering clips feature a button to purchase the film.
With "Enhanced Scene Search," viewers can select scenes to watch and search through dialogue, videos, photos and extras.
Vudu users who already have the movie in their library will get access to the Vudu Extras+ experience at no extra charge.
Sony sees the availability of extras as a way to entice more consumers to buy rather than rent films, especially as it looks to encourage more people to set up UltraViolet accounts.
Vudu will promote the new features on its site with the designated titles and hopes other studios will soon follow with their own films. Sony said it was encouraged to offer up the extras after seeing that the availability of bonus features on digital copies of films sold through Apple's iTunes has not cannibalized disc sales. Vudu offers films to purchase day-and-date with DVD and Blu-ray releases, whereas services like Netflix and Redbox must wait to offer films for rental, which has also helped promote sales.
"Vudu Extras+ will enhance the value proposition of digital ownership which is so key to the future success and strength of the home entertainment industry," said David Bishop, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. "Our intention is that it will evolve it into an industry standard for use across multiple studios and services."
Bishop added that, "we really want to rally the industry around this idea and we're starting to have more conversations around that. We see it as a format rather than something that's exlusivel to Sony and Vudu."
Vudu Extras+ is the latest way Walmart has sought to improve its streaming service, after joining UltraViolet, and enabling customers to convert their discs to digital or add their titles to Vudu's digital library at home.
"Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Vudu developed Vudu Extras+ with the movie fan in mind," said Amit Balan, head of marketing and merchandising at Vudu. "We wanted to give fans new ways to interact with the digital movies they own."
Vudu Extras+ is available to preview before purchasing the movie (see video here), and consumers can access the full Vudu Extras+ experience when they purchase a movie or redeem their UltraViolet code on Vudu.
Walmart's Vudu Adds Bonus Features to Digital Movie Sales
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