Something Wal-Mart This Way Comes: Mega-Retailer To Offer Movie Downloads
To protect the DVD sales business of the studios price parity will exist between DVD sales prices and Wal-Mart's downloads. Downloads will cost $12.88-$19.88 day and date with the DVD release and catalog titles start at $7.50. TV shows will cost just under two bucks at $1.96.
Those quick to assert that Wal-Mart willl dominate this space as thoroughly as it does brick and mortar retail should remember this isn't the giant's first step into online video offerings. A couple of years back it tried online DVD rentals and failed, ultimately shutting down and referring its customers to Netflix. The NY Times quoted a program manager from the Yankee Group as saying of Wal-Mart that, "as much of an 800-pound gorilla as they are in retail sales, they are an 80 lb. weakling when it comes to digital distribution." Ouch, that could leave a mark.
Still, the studio support that Wal-Mart has amassed should get the attention of all of its competition, online or otherwise. As for me, I'm not really looking for quality that's equal or lower than DVD; I'm hitting the snooze button until they start offering HD downloads.