Wal-Mart Will Start Selling Cloud Storage At 3500 Stores Next Month

We told you it was coming-and it did. Wal-Mart ( NYSE: WMT ) has formally announced its support for Hollywood’s struggling UltraViolet movie cloud initiative. Under its new “Disc to Digital” service, Wal-Mart will begin shepherding consumers during the means of converting their DVD and Blu-ray collections to digital cloud storage starting next month at greater than 3,500 Wal-Mart stores.

Wal-Mart made its announcement Tuesday, at a press conference held at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel alongside home entertainment executives from participating studios Fox ( NSDQ: NWS ), Paramount ( NYSE: VIA ), Sony ( NYSE: SNE ), Warner Bros. ( NYSE: TWX ) and Universal. The flicks may be accessible throughout the retailer’s Vudu digital rental and sell-through service, with consumers paying $2 to transform each individual DVD and Blu-ray title to an UltraViolet cloud copy that may be played back through Vudu on a number devices by numerous kinfolk. Consumers willing to pay $5 a disc can convert standard-definition DVD titles to high-def digital copies.

With every major studio except Disney ( NYSE: DIS ) participating in UltraViolet, the initiative is seen by Hollywood as a method of encouraging rental-prone consumers back into the habit of movie purchasing. But has had a coarse start, with only about 1 million users signed up since its October launch, and a few consumers complaining that the technology isn’t simple enough to apply.

Wal-Mart has promised to support the initiative with what Warner Bros. Home Entertainment president Ron Sanders called “a massive promotional campaign at the scale of a blockbuster film launch.” Under the agreement, Wal-Mart’s consumer education campaign-if you want to involve dedicated staff at greater than 3,500 stores to stroll consumers during the UltraViolet sign-up process and authenticate their discs-could be funded by UltraViolet’s parent consortium, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.

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