Life may be uncertain and rocky these days, but there is one silver lining that we do not appreciate often enough: the fact that we get to be alive during the golden age of film and television. Never before have we had so many options for watching great movies and TV shows. Whether we are hanging out at home, on vacation, on a long and boring flight, or waiting in line at the DMV, we never have to be without all the best shows and films.
Not only do we have so many streaming apps and streaming sites to choose from, but I would also argue that the quality of shows and movies available to us are also higher than they have been ever before. Since the rise of streaming apps, film and television studios have really been forced to produce better content. With so much competition out there, many networks have found that the age-old, recycled, lowest common denominator trash that they pumped out for years is no longer going to cut it. And this increased competition, this increased emphasis on quality results in us, the viewer, having more amazing movies and shows to choose from.
With new production studios now on the scene and raising the bar, every film and TV studio has been forced to keep up. In my opinion, a lot of this recent increase in quality is due to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video putting out award-winning and critically acclaimed content that is exclusively available on their streaming platforms. And with the success of these aforementioned streaming services, now everyone seems to want a piece of the pie.
New premium streaming apps and original streaming services are getting created all the time now. Space has become more competitive than ever. And this is a double-edged sword for consumers. On the one hand, of course, this is what we want. The more streaming apps the better, right? Certainly. But on the other hand, this creates a situation where it has become extremely difficult to decide on which premium streaming apps to subscribe to, which ones are worth our money and time.
So, what is it that you look for in the best premium streaming app? Personally, I think that the number one concern is probably a variety and quality of content. I think, above all else if a streaming app does not offer the shows and movies that you want to see, there is little to no point in downloading it. The first thing that you’ll want to look at before choosing a streaming app is content. But that is not the only thing to take into account.
The next most important aspect of a streaming app, if you ask me, is how well it is designed and what kinds of features it offers. You may find that, even though a given streaming app has tons of titles that you know you will love if they are not delivered in a user-friendly, intuitive, dependable way, then there is not much of a point. What good is an app if it crashes often, for instance, or if you cannot seem to figure out how to use it? You want your streaming app to provide excellent user experience, great design, and tons of useful features that make your movie and TV binging as enjoyable as possible.
Then, of course, there is the matter of price. Because almost every premium streaming app comes at a cost of some sort. Even the free ones are going to make you sit through ads and commercials. So, after you’ve taken into account content, quality, and features, you also have to make sure that you get what you’re paying for. Most streaming apps are reasonably priced (from between $5 and $10 a month), but there are some out there that push towards $20/month. And, in my opinion, a streaming app has to do quite a bit for it to be worth that kind of money.
It is always a nice exception to the rule, though, when you find a premium streaming app that doesn’t cost anything, such as the app we will be looking at today, Vudu. You do not have to pay to sign up for Vudu. Simply download the app (which is also free), create an account, and enjoy thousands of movies and TV shows for $0. The only cost, though, comes in the form of commercials. Which we’ll elaborate on in a moment.
Vudu was founded on the 1st of January 2004. Although it began only creating set-top boxes (Vudu Box and Vudu XL), it is now primarily a streaming service. The box model is outdated nowadays, so, Vudu was wise to switch to VOD and streaming apps. Founded by Alain Rossman and Tony Miranz, Vudu was acquired by Walmart in March of 2010.
I quite like the design of Vudu. It has a somewhat refreshing theme that makes it stand out from other premium streaming apps of its type. Although it has the standard black background, the refreshing splashes of bright sky blue differentiate it from the others. Vudu looks great, but it functions even better.
I also love the layout of Vudu. It is simple, intuitive, and practical. There are a few main categories at the top of the app to choose from: Home, Rentals, Deals, TV, Kids, and then a few select genres. Just click the tab of what you are looking for and browse from a new set of thumbnails.
At the bottom of the app, you’ll also find a parallel user menu. Here, you can check out Vudu’s Spotlight (featured films and shows, Search, My Vudu, Free, and Settings. I love this sandwiched menu design, which makes it one of the most user-friendly and intuitive premium streaming apps on the market today.
Vudu has thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from. One of the best parts of this app is probably the fact that they do not lean too heavily on one network or production studio over another. They have tons of new movies from Paramount, 21st Century Fox, and all of the traditional film studios. But they also have films made by Netflix and Disney (Disney Plus is not the only way, it turns out, to watch Disney movies these days!).
Although there are movies and shows available for you to stream with your Vudu membership, the majority of the content that Vudu has to offer are titles that you can rent or purchase digital copies of directly from the app, which is another aspect of Vudu that sets it apart from the rest of the premium streaming apps on the market. This version of video content delivery is definitely not the most common in this day and age … it is something like a completely digital version of Blockbuster with some elements of Netflix thrown in.
In addition to merely streaming content, Vudu allows you to download your movies and shows so that you can watch offline. And you can also link other streaming accounts, creating one convenient location for all of the movies you own.
Pricing and Plans
So, I know that I said that Vudu was a completely free streaming app a little bit ago. And that was not entirely misleading. It is free to download, free to use, and there is a solid selection of free content for you to stream. However, where Vudu makes the bulk of their money comes from the fact that most titles are only available to stream via renting or buying. This model might not be for everyone, but by doing it this way, Vudu is able to offer a much larger selection than many of the other streaming apps out there. Prices of the movies, of course, differ depending on how new and popular they are.
Suggestions that I have for Vudu
As far as doing what Vudu has set out to do, I think this app is wildly successful. I am not a huge fan, personally, of having to rent or buy my movies in the digital age. I think it is a bit of an antiquated way of offering content. So, my main suggestion would be to offer an alternate way of using Vudu. Why not give us the option to pay per month and access a broader range of titles without a rental or purchase necessary?