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Saturday, December 29, 2007

No more movie downloads from Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart pulled the plug on its movie download service on December 21st... and no one noticed for a week, the thing was so incredibly popular. Wal-Mart's service was one of the few to offer movies from all six major studios. Wal-Mart's unsuccessful "beta test" began this past February,

From the NY Times coverage:

    In a research note published Friday, Rich Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Capital, said the D.R.M. might have doomed Wal-Mart’s movie service. “We suspect a key reason behind Wal-Mart’s decision to exit the digital video download business was the need for D.R.M., which prevented the content from working with iPods,” he wrote. “Anywhere you look, Apple’s devices are winning, forcing content holders’ hands.”

    High prices also hampered the service. Prices to buy a movie, a copy of which resides on the hard drive of the buyer’s computer, ranged from $12.88 to $19.88 on the day of the release; older movies cost $7.50. But it costs just a few dollars to rent a DVD or watch a movie through a cable system’s on-demand services.

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