Walmart will pair shoppable ads with original content on Vudu, the retail giant’s streaming video arm, through a partnership with MGM, according to Variety. The ads will launch later in 2018, while the first MGM-produced content is expected to debut in Q1 2019.
The interactive ads will run on Movies On Us, Vudu’s free streaming service, which already offers advertisers the ability to target ads based on metrics including shopping history. Initially the ads will come in two varieties:
- Send more information, which lets viewers request more information about advertisers via email; and
- Add to cart, which will feature a button that adds the advertiser’s product to a checkout basket on Walmart.com.
Walmart plans to also add a shop-from-the-TV feature to Vudu in the future, but first wants to find a way to make the option non-intrusive, according to Scott Blanksteen, VP of Product and Ad-Supported Video-On-Demand at Vudu. Movies On Us already touts a light ad load as one of its benefits, featuring approximately six to eight minutes of commercials per hour.
The original programming will appear on Movies On Us and draw from MGM’s film library, which includes the James Bond, Rocky and The Hobbit franchises. Vudu plans to commission and license other original shows as well, but Blanksteen said the service doesn’t plan on becoming a full-on studio.
Walmart will boost the marketing of Vudu and Movies On Us over the next few quarters. The entire platform has 25 million registered viewers, though Blanksteen declined to comment on how many people use Movies On Us specifically.