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Wal-Mart Offers Movie, TV Downloads

6 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Feb. 6 began offering movie and television program downloads from the major studios and TV networks on its Web site, walmart.com.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant last year announced it was beta testing a download service and in November offered an exclusive Superman Returns DVD bundle that contained a download option with the purchase of the physical DVD. Wal-Mart will continue to offer similar bundle deals.

The new service, powered by technology from HP Video Merchant Services, includes more than 3,000 movie and TV titles. It allows customers to download content for viewing on PCs, laptops and portable media players.

Movie downloads range in price from $12.88 to $19.98 for new releases; $7.50 for select catalog titles. TV episodes sell for $1.96 per episode.

Initial movie titles include Hollywoodland, Ficka and Running with Scissors, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Mission: Impossile III and The Break-Up.

TV offerings predominently feature 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros., The CW and Comedy Central fare, including pilots from "24," "Bones," "Prison Break," "Dirt," "Veronica Mars," "Supernatural" and "The Nine," among others.

The HP Video Merchant Services technology offers a "movie connection" tool that allows customers to discover new movies through the visual connections between actors and directors across catalog of films. The tool also offers a browser that includes preview trailers and selectable category/genre and TV network listings.

"Working with HP in digital video combines Wal-Mart's ability to bring exciting content offerings to our customers with the substantial technical capabilities of HP,” said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for digital media. “We anticipate further expanding this service to offer a comprehensive online home video shopping experience that meets our customers' growing needs and allows them to shop a deep selection of movie/TV content in a variety of formats, including video downloads."

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