business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart has unveiled a new movie downloading service, albeit one that requires consumers to buy a DVD of a movie before they can download it to a their computers.

According to the Journal, “Wal-Mart launched the service yesterday by offering customers a ‘bundle’ including a DVD of Warner Brothers' "Superman Returns" for $14.87 coupled with instructions for how to download the same movie to a personal-media device or computer for $1.97 to $3.97.”

This reportedly is just a first step for Wal-Mart, which plans to offer additional titles from other studios, and eventually to offer download-only services such as those currently available on Apple’s iTunes.

It was just a few weeks ago that Wal-Mart was putting pressure on movie studios not to make their movies available on iTunes because of concerns that the downloads were cutting into Wal-Mart’s DVD sales.
KC's View:
It’ll be interesting to see if the bundling approach works; we think that it would make us feel like we were paying for the same movie twice.