Wal-Mart Raises Heat on Netflix and Coinstar

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) customers will be able to access new technology to get more mileage out of their DVDs beginning March 16.

The “disc-to-digital” service, which was unveiled in a press conference Tuesday, will allow customers to see movies they’ve already purchased on DVD or Blu-ray for $2 and $5, respectively, through a variety of media. Walmart executive John Aden described the new program as allowing “customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they’ve already made in disc purchases.”

Walmart’s program uses the UltraViolet video platform, which doesn’t store content like Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes, but is rather a digital library of licenses. One UltraViolet account can be shared between up to six people and can stream to up to 12 devices, from tablets to TVs and even mobile phones.

Unlike Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR), Ultraviolet is a library of content already purchased by users, which is certainly more costly, but also allows users to watch their chosen content anywhere with an Internet connection, whereas Netflix users are subject to the streaming company’s licensing agreements. Furthermore, much of Netflix’s library is not yet digital, especially the new releases.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsey Grossman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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