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Vudu users can now download their video rentals and purchases and watch them later without the need for an internet connection. Vudu, which is owned by Walmart, unveiled the new feature today.

Vudu's latest feature isn't a new idea in the streaming world. Vudu's announcement follows similar moves from Amazon and YouTube. Netflix has long been rumored to be working on a feature that will allow users to view content offline, which is no surprise – the vast majority of Netflix users say they would use that functionality.

Vudu allows users to buy or rent movies, which makes it a bit different from a subscription-based on-demand service like Netflix. With customers paying for individual titles, offline rights are a little easier to negotiate. It's no accident that Vudu's new ad-supported on-demand service is not included in its new offline viewing feature.

Nevertheless, offline viewing seems to be the wave of the future for all types of streaming services. With Vudu and other streaming services making moves like this, Netflix's offline feature may not be as far off as some have feared.

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