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Walmart Looking to Improve Digital Media Offering

28 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

New Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

New CEO Doug McMillon reportedly eyeing software linking consumers with entertainment and Walmart stores

Walmart may be the perennial king selling movie discs throughout its expansive retail footprint of 11,000 stores, but efforts to replicate that success online remain a work in progress, new CEO Doug McMillon told a technology group.

Speaking May 28 at Re/code’s technology confab in New York, McMillon said Walmart aims to expand its online prowess across all product categories, including entertainment.

Despite generating a staggering $473 billion in 2014 fiscal-year revenue, Walmart made just $10 billion in revenue online — about half what Amazon generated in its most recent 90-day quarter, which included $5.4 billion in media revenue.

“Clearly Amazon is teaching the world what’s possible,” McMillon told attendees.

Walmart, which bought digital sellthrough platform Vudu.com in 2010, recently made it possible for members to share their UltraViolet movie files with up to five non-UV-registered friends.

The move was seen as an effort to attract eyeballs to Vudu, which reportedly generates less than 2 million users a month, according to comScore. Last year, Vudu enabled users to unlock UV digital files of select movies in the cloud from home for a fee.

McMillon said Walmart and Vudu would not get into producing original content — a strategy taken by Amazon, Netflix and Hulu. Instead, he is considering implementing software that would enable consumers to buy entertainment online and pick up at a nearby Walmart store, according to recode.net.

“We sell a lot of movies and music [in stores],” McMillon said. “But we have room to improve relative to our digital offering. We aspire to sell more.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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