Wal-Mart To Offer Movie Downloads

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When it comes to pure, unadulterated retail, there are few stores that do it any better than Wal-Mart. The company has made a reputation in offering consumers a one-stop shop for everything from cereal to motor oil.

Now the company is taking another bold step in the realm of E-Commerce, partnering with the six major motion picture studios to offer downloadable movies to customers at its online store.

The last time Wal-Mart tried to jump into the foray of the online DVD market, however, the company took a bludgeoning from Netflix that made the beating Tyler Durden put on himself in Fight Club look like mere slaps to the face.

So what does the Wal-Mart need to do this time around to avoid a repeat of this dubious fate? Michael Barbaro of the New York Times has some thoughts:

To be considered a success, Wal-Mart’s download service will not only have to compete with strong rivals. It will have to pass the same test all services do at WalMart.com: to lure customers into Wal-Mart’s 4,000 stores, to buy groceries, electronics and clothing. Wal-Mart’s online video-rental service failed to do just that, and analysts said the digital download system could encounter the same problem.

Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes will all present stiff competition to Wal-Mart in the movie download market. The one advantage the retail chain boasts over all the other players, however, is the fact that all six major motion picture studios have signed on to take part in the offering.

According to initial reports, download prices for new titles will range from $12.88 to $19.88 on release day, while older movies will start at $7.50 per movie.

So it remains to be seen if customers will be willing to pay the same price to download a movie, a process that would make it more difficult to watch on a normal television, than go out and pay essentially the same price for a hard copy of the disc.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Wal-Mart To Offer Movie Downloads
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