Retail giant Walmart debuted at the NewFronts event in New York this week, announcing the roll-out of its Vudu Audience Extension video ad network this summer.

Claiming the service could potentially reach half of US households, company representatives informed delegates that the extension network will help advertisers reach more viewers than on Vudu alone, Advertising Age reported.

“Advertisers can easily purchase inventory on Vudu and across the extension network and [they can] dynamically insert TV video ads across a video marketplace of streaming platforms,” said Ben Simon, head of video ad sales at Vudu.

The network will make use of Walmart’s extensive first-party data, but also draw on third-party data from Nielsen and others to deliver targeted and dynamic ads on Vudu and other streaming services on the network.

According to Advertising Age, Walmart’s move represents a bid to grow an advertising business “with the clout of its commercial empire”, and the company believes it has an advantage over arch-rival Amazon because of the amount of data it collects about the 250 million US consumers who shop with it each year.

“Anybody who’s got anything to sell knows that the best indicator of future purchases is past purchases,” said Scott Blanksteen, Vudu’s VP of product management.

“Because we have this rich history of past purchases, we can make marketing to your customers targetable to a degree you simply cannot find anywhere else,” he added.

The Vudu executives also revealed more details about the company’s dynamic “shoppable ads”, which pop up onscreen and allow customers to add products to their online shopping carts with a single click.

Being dynamic, it means that if a viewer has a preference about a brand’s products – for example, such as flavourings in a snack – then an ad for that option is the one that will appear in the promotion.

The company also unveiled a slate of original programming, including family-friendly shows and programmes aimed at children, such as a reboot of “Blue’s Clues” and a live action movie called “Adventure Force 5”.

Sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by WARC staff