Internet-protocol TV vendor Entone has announced plans to
make Vudu's online video service available via its next-generation media hubs
and to offer the service to telcos.
The offering would allow telcos to supplement their
programming offerings with 15,000 titles from Vudu's library and dramatically
expand their HD offering. Vudu currently offers more than 1,800 HD titles,
including virtually all of the new Blu-ray Disc releases from the major
"We think Vudu is not only a great technology but a great
source of interesting content for telcos," said Entone co-founder and vice president
of product development Mark Evensen "From the telco perspective, they can
effectively outsource their VOD service and
still benefit in terms of a revenue sharing arrangement with the supplier."
The deal is the first in which Vudu has made its library available
to multichannel operators and the first in which Vudu has made its system
available on hardware from an outside supplier, Evensen said. Currently,
consumers can only download or stream the titles to Vudu's own boxes.
By embracing online content delivery, rather than trying to
compete against it, telcos can dramatically increase the range of programming
they offer and strengthen their competitive position versus cable and
satellite, Evensen argued.
"It is an opportunity to participate in a really
revolutionary, compelling application and provide their customers real added
value," he said.
The Vudu product will also provide telcos with a way to
market and promote their fastest data offerings.
"Customers that have a premium download service with the
fastest speeds can stream in real-time and those who don't can download the
content," Evensen said. "When they realize that, it will give them an incentive
to upgrade to the next level of bandwidth."
Entone's IPTV platform has been deployed by over 50 telcos
and it expects to start making the Vudu service available to its clients soon.
Everson expects Vudu's current pricing and payment to remain
the same in its telco offering.
"You'll see the Vudu service faithfully reproduced as
you would find it on Vudu's own hardware," he said.