Vudu offers ad-supported movies 'on us'

Vudu offers ad-supported movies 'on us'

Ooyala is handling ad bookings strictly on a reserved basis to start because Vudu wants to create a "very curated set of offers".

Today the company launched "Vudu Movies On Us", which is basically an ad-supported video streaming service with a catalog of several thousand movies and TV shows.

Vudu said the free titles are only available in the U.S. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and in this case the tradeoff is that the movies are ad-supported, similar to movies available on Crackle and other services. True Grit, A Walk to Remember, Abduction, and Escape from Planet Earth are among the titles Vudu mentioned in the blog post, while a brief look at the website shows a number of live concerts, sports specials, and stand-up comedy specials in addition to the movies offered. To generate revenue, Vudu Movies on Us will be ad-supported. Vudu is also accessible from the web and via downloadable app for iOS and Android, including the recently released Mi Box Android TV device. "Nothing is more affordable than free", Jeremy Verba, vice president and general manager of Vudu, said in a statement. TracFone Wireless and American Express are among the initial advertising partners, as well as local automotive dealerships whose ads will be targeted to viewers in designated market areas.

The projected size of the addressable market for interactive, VOD and addressable TV advertising is projected to approach $700 million this year, suggesting a growing opportunity for ad-supported streaming television. Vudu will work with Nielsen to track and report viewing of the free service on connected TVs and mobile at launch. Vudu will play several 30-second commercials before the video plays and will break into the stream several times with more ads before the film ends.

Founded in 2004, Vudu was acquired by Walmart in 2010. He previously was CEO of online-dating site eHarmony, and has worked at Foundation Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence, AOL and Zynga.