Imagine partnering with one of the biggest movie studios in Los Angeles and the world's largest retailer for your first deal ever. Sounds like a Hollywood story come to life, right?
Adam Johnson, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based start-up Toggle, is living that reality. The company manufactures streaming-enabled devices, called dongles, for retailers to deliver content.
The idea was born out of Warner Bros. Media Camp, an accelerator program aimed at helping media entrepreneurs launch new ventures.
Their first product, called the VUDU Spark, is made exclusively for Wal-Mart Stores. A tiny video stick that plugs into a high-definition TV, it allows consumers to access VUDU—Wal-Mart's video-on-demand service—so they can browse, rent or buy more than 100,000 movie and television shows.
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"What makes us different is that we're not a business-to-consumer company; we're a business-to-business company," he said. "We offer the custom devices to big companies that already have the distribution deals, so it's a unique tool for them to allow their customers access to services that may otherwise not be available."
The VUDU Spark stick costs $25. They've sold 100,000 so far in 2015. Wal-Mart hopes the Spark will convert its DVD customers into VUDU subscribers.