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Wal-mart closes online video download service after less than a year

UPI News Service, 12/29/2007 

The U.S.-based retail giant Wal-Mart closed its online video download service less than a year after offering the media to consumers.

Wal-mart closed its online video service Dec. 21 citing Hewlett-Packard's decision to withdraw its software that ran the site.

Wal-Mart introduced the service in February with 3,000 films and television shows for consumers to download to computers or portable devices using Microsoft Windows Media Player -- the service was not compatible with DVD players or Apple products.

The closure went largely unnoticed by consumers during the busy holiday shopping season, a sign the release of video for download hasn't caught on.

Josh Bernoff, a technology industry analyst with Forrester Research, said technology for video downloads has not reached the same level as music downloads.

"The experience of watching on an iPod or a computer is significantly inferior to what you get from a normal DVD," he said in Saturday's New York Times.

Another reason for the lack of success was the price for downloads. Wal-Mart offered downloads for new releases for nearly $20 and $7.50 for older movies, where consumers can buy a physical DVD for those prices or rent them for significantly less.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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