One of the most popular pay-pet-view video streaming services is now, kind of, officially available on the iPad. That is to say, Vudu sent out an e-mail to its customers to let them know the service has launched on the Apple tablet platform.
But that is kind of misleading, because there is no actual Vudu app. In order to circumvent the official App Store approval process and playing all of Apple's games, what Vudu has done is to make the browser-based streaming platform available through the iPad's HTML5 Web standard.
If it had launched an official app, Vudu would have had to pay Apple 30% of the revenue earned through the app. This way, it has to pay Apple 0%.
"The economic advantage of not having to pay Apple 30 percent was a factor," said Vudu general manager Edward Lichty in a Reuters interview.
In addition to letting users stream movies and TV shows on their computers, Vudu is available via proprietary apps on the PS3, Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes.
It is seen as a Netflix competitor, but the two are very different services. Vudu requires users to pay for every individual movie or TV show they want to watch, but they don't have to pay a monthly fee. In addition, it gets newly released titles as soon as they're available on DVD and Blu-ray, unlike Netflix which sometimes has to wait months.
Netflix, however, has a huge following because for a low monthly fee users are able to watch as much content as they want.