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Vudu has been around in the movie business since 2004, but they haven’t always offered us the same thing. Around 2010, Vudu switched from being a hardware company to offering on-demand streaming video rentals and purchases. Later, they added free content (with ads).
Do you want to find out what unique offerings Vudu has in store? Great! Let’s take a look.
With a Netflix subscription or a Hulu subscription, you pay a monthly fee and stream as much as you want. Not so with Vudu, however!
Vudu does not charge a monthly fee. Vudu’s main offering is the ability to rent or buy individual movies and TV shows. It's similar to fellow movie rental service FandangoNow.
In 2016, Vudu added free, ad-supported content to its service under a feature called Vudu Movies On Us. If you don’t want to see ads, Vudu’s free movies can also be rented or purchased to be viewed ad-free. This option is not, however, available with most of Vudu’s free TV shows.
With Vudu, we can rent or buy new releases and popular movies. If you want old favorites or cult classics, those are also readily available. The free-to-watch selection tends toward older and less popular titles.
Vudu offers a wide range of TV shows, from older series to modern hits. That includes titles from HBO, Starz, and other premium channels. TV shows can be purchased as individual episodes or as full seasons.
One important note about rentals: Movie rentals on Vudu give you 30 days to start the movie and 48 hours to watch it once you’ve started. Before you hit play, make sure that you have time to finish the movie within those 48 hours, or you will have to pay to rent it again!
If you have kids and don’t want them to gain access to any of Vudu’s non-child-friendly content, Vudu’s “Family Features” can help with that. These Family Features are actually two individual features. First, there’s the “Kids Mode” option, which is available on some devices and lets you restrict browsing and watching to only kid-friendly titles. Second, there’s the Kids Store, which is available on all devices and allows you to browse only kid-friendly movies and TV shows for purchase.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s available on Vudu right now:
This is a good point to mention that you may already have access to some content on Vudu. Digital movies purchased through FandangoNow, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Microsoft Movies & TV can often be viewed through Vudu because they participate in Movies Anywhere, a service that lets you sync your digital movie purchases across providers. This includes any DVDs or blu-rays that you have purchased that came with a code for a digital copy. Also, Vudu’s Instawatch service gives you a free digital copy of any movie you buy in Walmart that has the Instawatch sticker on it.
Another feature that Vudu added just this year is lists. Lists allow you to take the content that you have purchased on Vudu — or transferred to Vudu via Movies Anywhere or Instawatch — and organize them into user-defined lists. This feature may be useful if you have acquired a large quantity of digital media content.
Movies and TV shows from Vudu can be watched on a wide range of devices. One notable exception is the Amazon Fire TV, which does not readily support Vudu.
Here’s a list of the major platforms and devices that do support Vudu.
Streaming platforms and devices
Video game consoles
There is no monthly subscription fee with Vudu. You will, instead, pay for any movies or TV shows you rent or purchase beyond the free, ad-supported content. The age of the content you purchase will matter as well, as newer content will tend to be more expensive than older content.
Movies on Vudu usually (but not always) cost $19.99 to buy and $5.99 to rent when they first come out. When Vudu offers movies that are still in theaters (which sometimes happens in the COVID-19 era), the purchase cost can be as high as $24.99 and the rental cost can be as high as $19.99. Older movies are often a little cheaper: They can be in the $10-15 range to buy and $3-6 range to rent. Some movie bundle deals let you buy a whole collection or series of movies all at once at a reduced rate.
TV series can range in price from $10-40 per season and $2-4 per episode. As you’d expect, the older seasons and shows tend to be a bit cheaper than the brand-new ones. For both TV shows and movies, the price will also be impacted by the video quality, with 4K UHD videos typically being more expensive than HD and SD ones. You’ll generally have a choice between the different picture qualities with each movie or TV show you buy.
The DVDs and Blu-rays you already own may also qualify for Vudu’s Disc to Digital service, which lets you purchase a digital copy of a movie you already own for between $2 and $5 (you have to provide a snapshot of the disc as proof). This service is available for movies from several – but not all – major studios.
Vudu runs several deals on their content. At the time of this writing, their “Summer of Savings” sale has many classic and modern action movies and TV shows at 25% off, including Gemini Man, Die Hard, and Alias.
Other deals on the site often feature a selection of movies at between $4.99 and $9.99 and may target specific genres, decades, directors, and more.
With Vudu, you don’t have to worry about free trials: Vudu is free to use. There’s no monthly subscription fee, and some of the content is free, too.
Renting or buying movies and TV shows on Vudu will cost you, but rental and purchase prices are just one-time fees, and it’s totally up to you whether and how often to rent or buy videos.
Vudu doesn’t have any kind of contract agreement — you just pay as you go, one movie or TV show rental or purchase at a time.
Rentals expire after a limited time (48 hours once you start watching the video you rented, or 30 days after the day you bought the rental, whichever comes first).
Movies you purchase stick around indefinitely — you basically own them. The fine print in the purchase terms does give Vudu an out if they need it, but video services like this very rarely mess with customer purchases. Unless there’s a major disaster over at Vudu, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll hold onto everything you buy on Vudu indefinitely.
You probably won’t need to cancel Vudu, since it doesn’t actually cost anything to keep your account active. If you are looking to completely delete your Vudu account, though, it can be done. All you need to do is send an email to email@example.com stating that you want to close the account. You will lose access to any of your purchased or rented content if you choose to do this, though, so think twice if you have any movies or TV shows in your Vudu library!
For more on Vudu, check out our other coverage of the service. You can find more content related to Vudu by typing Vudu into our search bar at the top of the page. If you’re not sure Vudu is for you, then you may want to check out alternatives like Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.