NOTE: If you’re here looking for information on M-GO or FandangoNOW, you’re in the right place. Vudu has a rich history that includes its past as M-GO and its integration with FandangoNOW.
Briefly, M-GO was a digital entertainment service launched in 2012, which was later acquired by Fandango and rebranded as FandangoNOW. In 2020, Fandango merged FandangoNOW into Vudu, consolidating its offerings under the Vudu brand. Today’s Vudu platform encompasses the features and content libraries of both its predecessors, making it a one-stop shop for renting, buying, and streaming movies and TV shows. So, whether you were a user of M-GO, FandangoNOW, or are new to Vudu, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about this relatively unknown streaming service.
What is Vudu?
Vudu is a digital video-on-demand streaming service. It offers a unique model in the streaming industry, combining a free, ad-supported streaming service with a pay-per-view model, allowing users to rent or buy movies and TV shows. Here’s an overview of its key features:
- Rental and Purchase Options: Unlike subscription-based services like Netflix or Hulu, Vudu allows users to rent or buy individual movies and TV shows. This pay-per-view model means you only pay for what you want to watch, without a monthly subscription fee.
- Free, Ad-Supported Streaming: Vudu also offers a selection of movies and TV shows that can be streamed for free with ads. This ad-supported section provides a wide range of genres and titles without any subscription or rental fees.
- Extensive Library: Vudu boasts a large collection of movies and TV shows, including new releases and classic favorites. It often gets new releases soon after they come out on DVD.
- High-Quality Streaming: The service supports high-definition (HD) and even ultra-high-definition (UHD) streaming, depending on the content and user’s device capabilities.
- Compatibility: Vudu is available on a wide range of devices, including smart TVs, game consoles, streaming devices (like Roku and Apple TV), and mobile devices.
- No Late Fees: Since it’s a digital service, there are no late fees for rentals. Once you rent a movie, you typically have 30 days to start watching it and 24 to 48 hours to finish once you’ve started.
- Movies Anywhere Integration: Vudu is part of the Movies Anywhere service, which means you can link your Vudu account with other services to centralize your digital movie collection.
- UltraViolet Connection: Previously, Vudu was a primary service for redeeming digital copies of movies and TV shows purchased on DVD or Blu-ray through the UltraViolet system, though UltraViolet has since been discontinued.
Vudu is particularly popular among users who prefer to rent or buy movies rather than subscribe to a service with a monthly fee. It’s also a good choice for those who want to access their movies across various platforms and devices.
How much does Vudu cost?
Vudu’s pricing structure is primarily based on a pay-per-view model, where users rent or buy movies and TV shows. Here’s a general outline of their pricing:
- Movie Rentals
- Prices: Rental prices can vary widely depending on the movie’s popularity, release date, and video quality. They typically range from around $0.99 for older titles or special promotions, up to $5.99 or more for new releases.
- Video Quality: Higher quality formats like HD or UHD/4K may cost more than standard definition (SD).
- Rental Period: Once you rent a movie, you usually have 30 days to start watching it. After you start, you typically have 24 to 48 hours to finish watching.
- Movie Purchases
- Prices: Purchasing movies is more expensive than renting, with prices generally ranging from about $4.99 to $24.99. New releases and high-definition formats are at the higher end of this range.
- Ownership: When you purchase a movie, it’s added to your Vudu library permanently, and you can watch it as many times as you want.
- TV Shows
- Per Episode: TV show episodes are usually available for purchase, with prices typically ranging from $1.99 to $3.99 per episode, depending on the show and video quality.
- Season Pass: You can often buy a full season of a TV show, which can be a cost-saving option compared to buying each episode individually.
- Bundles and Specials
- Bundles: Vudu occasionally offers bundled deals where you can purchase multiple movies or entire series at a discounted rate.
- Sales and Promotions: They often run sales and promotions, offering movies and TV shows at reduced prices.
- Free Content
- Ad-Supported: Vudu also offers a selection of movies and TV shows that can be watched for free with advertisements. These do not require any rental or purchase fees.
Does Vudu offer a free trial?
Vudu doesn’t offer a free trial in the traditional sense, primarily because it operates differently from subscription-based streaming services. Vudu’s main business model revolves around renting or purchasing movies and TV shows individually, rather than providing content under a subscription model. Therefore, the concept of a “free trial” doesn’t exactly apply in the same way it does for services like Netflix or Hulu.
However, Vudu does offer a selection of free, ad-supported content. This section of their service allows users to watch certain movies and TV shows at no cost, albeit with advertisements included. This can be considered a way to try out the platform without any financial commitment, but it doesn’t grant access to their entire library or the latest releases that are typically available for rent or purchase.
How is Vudu different from other streaming services?
Vudu stands out for its pay-per-view model, allowing users to rent or buy movies and TV shows without a subscription. It’s a good choice for viewers who prefer not to commit to a monthly fee and want the flexibility to choose specific titles. Other services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and Apple TV+ are primarily subscription-based and offer varying degrees of original content, whereas Amazon Prime Video is a hybrid like Vudu, offering both a subscription service and a la carte options.
Vudu vs. Amazon Prime Video
When comparing Vudu specifically to Amazon Prime Video, several key aspects come into play:
- Content Library
- Vudu: Primarily known for its vast selection of movies and TV shows available for rental or purchase. It also offers a range of free, ad-supported content. Vudu often gets new releases shortly after they leave theaters.
- Amazon Prime Video: Offers a mix of movies, TV shows, and a significant amount of original content. Prime members have access to a large library included with their subscription, plus the option to rent or buy titles not included in Prime.
- Pricing Model
- Vudu Operates on a pay-per-view basis, allowing users to rent or buy movies and TV shows. There’s no subscription fee, and it also offers free, ad-supported content.
- Amazon Prime Video Part of the Amazon Prime subscription, which includes other benefits like free shipping. It also allows rentals and purchases of titles not included in Prime.
- Video Quality
- Vudu: Known for offering high-quality video, including 4K UHD for many titles. The quality depends on the individual title and the user’s device capabilities.
- Amazon Prime Video: Also supports up to 4K UHD streaming for both Prime content and many rental/purchase options.
- Platform Accessibility
- Vudu: Available on a wide array of devices including smart TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, and mobile devices.
- Amazon Prime Video: Similarly, it’s accessible on a broad range of devices and is also integrated into Amazon’s own hardware like Fire TV and Echo Show.
- User Experience
- Vudu: Known for its user-friendly interface and easy navigation. It’s particularly praised for its straightforward rental and purchasing process.
- Amazon Prime Video: Also has a user-friendly interface, though some users find navigation through Prime content mixed with rent/buy options a bit more complex.
- Special Features
- Vudu: Offers features like Movies Anywhere integration, allowing users to consolidate their digital movie libraries from various platforms.
- Amazon Prime Video: Provides benefits tied to the broader Amazon ecosystem, like X-Ray for in-depth information about shows/movies and integration with Alexa for voice control.
Vudu and Amazon Prime Video have some similarities, particularly in offering both a la carte rentals/purchases and free, ad-supported content. The key difference lies in their primary models: Vudu is purely a la carte with no subscription model, focusing on a vast library for rental or purchase, while Amazon Prime Video is part of the broader Amazon Prime subscription service, with additional rental and purchase options. The choice between the two often depends on user preferences for subscription models, content selection (including original content), and integration with wider ecosystems like Amazon Prime.
How to use Vudu
Accessing Vudu is straightforward and can be done through a variety of devices. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to access Vudu:
- Create an Account
- Visit the Vudu website.
- Click on the ‘Sign Up’ button and follow the instructions to create a new account. You’ll need to provide some basic information like your email address and create a password.
- Accessing via Web
- Once your account is set up, you can browse, rent, purchase, and watch movies and TV shows directly on the Vudu website using a web browser on your computer.
- Using Mobile Devices
- Download the Vudu app from the Apple App Store for iOS devices or the Google Play Store for Android devices.
- Log in with your Vudu account credentials.
- You can now browse, rent, purchase, and stream content directly on your smartphone or tablet.
- Smart TVs and Streaming Devices
- Vudu is available on a wide range of smart TVs and streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and more.
- Locate the Vudu app on your device’s app store or channel store, download and install it.
- Open the app and log in with your Vudu account.
- Game Consoles
- Vudu is also accessible on gaming consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation.
- Find the Vudu app in the console’s app marketplace, download and install it.
- Log in to your Vudu account to start using the service.
- Blu-ray Players
- Some Blu-ray players come with the Vudu app pre-installed or available in their app marketplace.
- Access the app from your Blu-ray player, and log in with your account details.