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Wal-Mart Tests Film Sales Online

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Retail giant Wal-Mart tests the waters of the online video market with the first offering to the site.

Wal-Mart, the leader in movie sales in America, has announced that by next year they will have added a fully operational video downloading service to their website.

While Wal-Mart hopes to conquer the online video market, it does not intend to make DVD technology obsolete. Instead the company wishes to package physical DVD sales with online sales.

“We feel like it is really important that the DVD business stays healthy and stays quite central to consumers’ lives,” said Kevin Swint, divisional merchandising manager of the company, told the New York Times

In an effort to test the effectiveness of the video downloading site, consumers who purchased a DVD copy of Warner Brother’s film “Superman Returns” were offered a “bonus download”.

The bonus download offered customers the chance to purchase a version of “Superman Returns” for their portable device for $1.97, a personal computer version for $2.97, or a package deal containing both for $3.97.

Currently, Wal-Mart offers a music downloading feature on their website on which consumers may purchase any song for the competitive price of 88 cents; 11 cents cheaper than the price of music at iTunes.

If the price of Wal-Mart’s music downloads are any indication to the price of video downloads on the site, they should definitely be a strong competitor to current music download leader, iTunes.

There is speculation that in order to compete with other video downloading sites, Wal-Mart will bundle movie packages in the same manner as the physical DVD’s they sell.

Last year, Wal-Mart launched their own streaming digital video site called Soundcheck, featuring videos of studio performances by various musicians, with links to purchase music by the artist.

Wal-Mart has yet to release the names of studios other than Warner Brothers that they might be partnering with, however they did make a statement that Hewlett-Packard would be providing the technology for the download site.

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Autmn Davis is a staff writer for WebProNews covering ebusiness and technology.

Wal-Mart Tests Film Sales Online
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