February 5, 2007 11:00 AM PST

Wal-Mart partners with studios in download deal

Wal-Mart will introduce a partnership with all six major Hollywood studios to sell digital movies and television shows on its Web site.
The New York Times

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15 comments

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Pass On Walmart
I'll pass on Walmart.
Posted by dansterpower (2511 comments )
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How long till Wal-Mart Sends all the movie making jobs to China?
Wal Mart is destroying America and exporting our jobs overseas.
Posted by disco-legend-zeke (448 comments )
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Yeah, right
I bet you'd complain if DVD players cost $400 instead of $89.

Endlessly putting tiny components together in a no-skill-
required factory job - I'm glad our economy isn't based on that
labor model.
Posted by shoffmueller (236 comments )
Link Flag
Great, another one
A problem I rapidly see occuring will occur when studios start cherry picking who they wish to sell through. Then what happens? The consumer will have no idea where the heck to go to get their favorite show and will fall back on the familiar illegal alternatives. I can easily see all these new services selling for approximately the same amount. So what will they end up doing to differentiate? They'll be signing exclusive distribution deals. So CBS goes with one company, Fox with another, Fox Searchlight with another, FX with yet another, etc., etc. etc. In the end it'll just cause confusion and maybe people will read more (yeah right).
Also, I wouldn't count on Walmart to do much fiddling with the prices. Yes, they're undercutting iTunes on tv show prices by a whole 3 cents. But that three cents likely comes out of *their* cut, not the studios. The studios are already upset with iTunes for holding steady on their prices and won't stand for losing a single penny that would otherwise go into their pockets. Maybe Walmart will make it up on the movie sales, but frankly if I have a choice between a DVD that will play in my DVD player now, and still will play in that same player 5 years from now versus a DRM wrapped file that very likely won't because of license changes, I'm going to go for the disc. Used. From a secondary retailer.
Posted by menty666 (53 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too Bad, It Won
"the price of a digital movie would be comparable to that of the DVD at its stores."

"If you are doing digital distribution, you are doing it because you do not want to be in the store,"
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
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Too Bad, It Won't Work
Oops, ham-fisted me hit the enter key. :-( Let's try again:

It won't work because of this:

"the price of a digital movie would be comparable to that of the DVD at its stores."

What's the value add? This?

"If you are doing digital distribution, you are doing it because you do not want to be in the store,"

I get that from Amazon, albeit with a delay. But it's extraordinarily rare that I can't wait a few days to watch a movie or TV show. In fact, I don't recall it ever happening. It's just a show, for crying out loud, not real life. Give me added value if you're going to charge me the same price and not deliver the disk (making me shoulder the disk burn and packaging expenses). How about I don't have to burn a disk, and I ***always*** own the right to re-download the movie (hard drive loss, etc)?

--mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
The thing won't load
Trying this walmart movie deal out - the thing doesn't load.
Like, they've got server-sizing troubles.

Though, I think iTunes had that trouble initally too.
Posted by shoffmueller (236 comments )
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Windows only...
What a DUH move by WM! No Mac or Linux.
Posted by BoardJIVE (30 comments )
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GEE, I wonder set up their online downloading system...?
Microsith?
For Windows Only, No Mac or NO Linux or NO Unix?

This wreaks of Microsith like burning sulfur.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Link Flag
HaHaHa, Think positive people....
... Wal-Mart sucks. They know pricing and to a lesser extent, trends. That's it.

When I think Wal-Mart, I think crowded, filthy stores, that are bustling with people that are wearing equally filthy clothing and drag their screaming children with them. Not to mention rude and clueless salespeople. No matter what market they enter, be it Digital Downloads this time, they have to counter the negative imagery that their brand carries with some people (i.e., me).

Coupled with their inability to cash in and realize what people want immediately (this whole download service launches now? How long has Amazon and Apple been in the download business? Wal-Mart is slow and lethargic) they stand no chance.

I'm sure their enhanced site will draw some casual buyers. Some people that will experiment. And families that download maybe one or two movies a month, but that's it. They don't understand that people download to avoid stores like theirs. They like the comfort of their homes. Wal-Mart thinks they can lure people into their stores to buy T.V. sets and PC's because people use their service? That's wishful thinking.

Think instead on the positive side. When Wal-Mart falls from the studios' good graces (at least digitally) and people resent their WMA only model, Apple can come in and rescue the studios from their own horrendous actions- albeit with a new set of rules that give Apple more power and a bigger share of the cut. Sure, the studios can work with Wal-Mart now. But surely the world's largest company cannot save them from their own bad decisions.
Posted by naterandrews (256 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Also...
Wal-Mart's music service uses WMA, right? The same WMA that has Janus/Plays For Sure protection; the same DRM that Microsoft isn't going to support much anymore now that Zune is out? Smart move Wally World, smart move.
Posted by naterandrews (256 comments )
Link Flag
Good Post
It's refreshing to read an articulate non-fanboy post.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah, this stinks all right
It's funny, their site is extremely short on details. I couldn't find a list of system requirements to play back the video, and they don't specify specific video format. There's no mention of DRM. They don't say whether or not you can burn the file to a DVD. They don't tell you what the file size is, or how long it's going to take to download. All in all, very deceptive. I expect that many of their customers are going to feel burned after the first download.
Posted by larryc92039 (41 comments )
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