So reports Variety: the intractable issue of how the DVD margins would get affected at a retailer like Wal-Mart if the movie downloads market takes off is finally being addressed. Apple and Wal-Mart are in discussions over an alliance that could allow the giant retailer to profit from iTunes video downloads, the story says.
One possibility: a digital download “coupon” that would allow consumers to buy movies, TV shows or music on iTunes with Apple paying the retail giant a percentage of the proceeds. This is still a very early, but it might help pacify some movie studio fears, and help Apple get more studios beyond Disney onboard its movie download service.
Separately, the story says, the rest of the majors are very close to joining Disney in a deal with Apple but are holding off until the end of the key fourth quarter, when half of all DVD sales occur.
Wal-Mart, who is also working on its own digital download service, has made it clear to the studios that if they did a deal with iTunes, it expected the same terms.
The story has a lot of other details about how Wal-Mart became angry with the studios who were planning to tie with Apple but then backed off after the retailer flexed its muscles.