Wal-Mart Launches Movie Digital Download Bundle; More Coming

imageWal-Mart, whose forays into music downloads till now haven’t panned out, is now dipping toes into the movie downloads business, conceptually a more natural fit for the biggest retailer of DVD in U.S. It has launched an exclusive “Superman Returns” DVD (a Warner Bros. movie) bundle containing a video download option with purchase of the physical DVD: With the purchase of the physical DVD, the users can also choose from three download options — $1.97 for portable devices, $2.97 for PCs/laptops, and $3.97 for both portable players and PC/laptops.
The DVD will come with a video download “feature sticker” on the cover. Customers will then have to log on to Walmart.com/superman, enter the promotional code, and select their desired download format.
The company will also test additional DVD bundles as well as offer a beta version of a video download service, which will include movie and TV content, it said. Some more details about it here in the release. Also read the service FAQs here for a lot more info. It has the similar restrictions as other movie download services: “You can backup your videos to DVD, but they will only play on a PC with the corresponding license. They will not play on other PCs or DVD players.”
Couple of questions I have which no one will answer on the record: What does this do to the back wrangling over other retailers or stores like iTunes offering movie downloads and Wal-Mart’s stance on it? What happened to Apple and Wal-Mart discussions over an alliance that could allow the giant retailer to profit from iTunes video downloads?
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