Walmart is planning to expand Vudu by introducing original television shows over the next year, according to a report by Bloomberg. As it currently stands, Vudu offers users a way to rent and purchase movies and television shows, akin to iTunes.
Now, the Walmart-owned service is planning to launch family-friendly television shows as a way to become a competitor in the ever-growing streaming TV market. These include a reboot of the 1983 comedy "Mr. Mom" (debuting as early as June 2019), a science-fiction show, and a police procedural drama similar to "CSI."
The difference is that Walmart won't require a monthly subscription to access these shows, but will instead generate money through "new advertising technology." This is described as "shoppable" content, with television shows that can directly lead to customers buying products online: "Not only will viewers see ads, they will have the option to buy products seen in shows, such as paper towels or soft drinks."
Although there are differences, Vudu will become one of many streaming services producing its own original TV shows. These include Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Apple coming later this year. Apple's service will be called Apple TV+ and will include shows created and produced by Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah.
Comparatively, Walmart is "not in the running to produce the next 'Game of Thrones'," according to Bloomberg. In total, Walmart will produce at least a half-dozen original shows over the course of the next year, and will be meeting with advertisers in New York this week to pitch its plans.