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Profile: Vudu’s Cosson Bets on Web for HD

Feb 7, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The player: Patrick Cosson, vice president of marketing at Vudu.
The play: Mr. Cosson is helping boost the profile of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Vudu, which last year began selling set-top boxes that can instantly download both high-definition and standard-definition movies. Closely held Vudu, which last month cut prices on its set-top box to $295 from $395, started carrying HD films in November and now has about 85 among its 5,000-film inventory, Mr. Cosson said.
The pitch: Vudu requires a transmission rate of four megabytes per second to instantly download a high-definition movie, less than the six-megabyte-per-second rate typically provided by digital cable companies. In addition to cutting its price, Vudu also boosted sales by bundling its boxes with Aquos high-definition television sets during the holiday season. “Digital delivery of content over the Internet is the future,” said Mr. Cosson, who declined to disclose Vudu’s sales or unit figures. “This is an on-demand world.”
The backstory: Mr. Cosson, 45, joined Vudu in 2006 after working for Slim Devices, which made the Squeezebox music player and was sold to Logitech International in October 2006 for $20 million. Born in Paris, Mr. Cosson grew up in the Cleveland area. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Blu-ray or HD DVD: Mr. Cosson questions whether the format war has affected Vudu sales because the typical Vudu customer “has multiple sources” of getting content. “I’ve seen no evidence that people are buying our box because they’re choosing not to buy a next-generation DVD player,” he said

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