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Wal-Mart Enters NetFlix's Business

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the flixing-its-tail dept.

Movies 679

wcbrown writes "AP reports that Wal-Mart is entering into the online DVD rental arena, currently dominated by Netflix. Wal-Mart is starting out with 13,000 titles, six distribution centers, and competitive pricing. With a seriously tremendous infrastructure and expansive will, Wal-Mart stands poised to overtake Netflix. To say the least, that's not going to be good for business."

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679 comments

Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (5, Insightful)

drfuchs (599179) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174564)

This isn't necessarily bad for NetFlix. First, it "validates" the market, and gives NetFlix a bunch of free PR (all the articles about the Walmart entering the fray will compare/contrast with NetFlix), including making tens of millions of consumers more aware of this new sort of rental scheme that they just don't grok yet. Second, it makes NetFlix a take-over target for any other company wanting to join in the competition (perhaps even BlockBuster, if their home-grown offering falters). Then again, maybe NetFlix will get blown out of the water.

Re:Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174601)

Okay. How'd he get modded to 5 when there were only four posts in the entire topic (and the topic was on the front page)?

LOUD SUCKING SOUND COMING FROM BUFFALO, NY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174616)

DAILY REMINDER: Hillary Clinton [senate.gov] doesn't just stand by...she actively works to offshore American High-Tech [tata.com] !

Re:Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (5, Insightful)

drfuchs (599179) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174636)

p.s. Also, all non-Walmart stores that sell DVD players (Circuit City, Best Buy, CostCo etc.) are motivated to push NetFlix on their customers, rather than Walmart, with whom they compete. Everything from the salesperson suggesting NetFlix (and perhaps getting a kick-back if you sign up), to NetFlix coupons in/on the box, to PR at the Point-Of-Sale.

Re:Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (4, Insightful)

markv242 (622209) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174660)

Substitute "Netscape" for "Netflix", and "Microsoft" for "Wal-Mart" and your comment seems frighteningly on-target.

Re:Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174665)

The last place I worked had the grand plan of becoming just barely large enough to blip in the radar of the "big boys", then sell out, make the owners rich and screw the employees (unless the "big boys" needed more people). It's really sad that people don't have bigger asperations than to just annoy a larger company into purchasing them. That being said, I don't think NetFlix had that goal in mind when they started. They probably did what most successful businesses do when they start... they saw a demand (or potential demand), and came up with a good way to distribute the supply (supplied the supply just doesn't sound right). Also, it would be prudent to mention that in this case, NetFlix is the incumbent, and Walmart is the challenger. NetFlix already has a customer-base and a good reputation. Walmart is hated in some circles simply because it's a large company (not in my circle, but I know people that will only go to Ma-and-Pa shops).

Re:Maybe not such bad news for NetFlix (4, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174761)

no, it's bad for netflix because walmart has a virtually limitless warchest and can win by attrition. how big is walmart?
  • last year their revenues were $200 billion us. that's more than the gdp of israel
  • of the 10 richest people in the world, five are waltons (of walmart fame). you think gates is a fat cat? the waltons are downright obese!
  • heck, s. robson walton may even be richer than bill! the "rich list 2001" claimed that s.r. had a personal bankroll of 65 billion, and placed him in the top slot for wealth worldwide.
  • walmart has 1 million employees. three times general motors.
  • however, despite all this, the average walmart employee makes only 15k/year.
how do you beat that kind of war chest?

asda (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174568)

Let's hope this spreads to asda, a company in the uk that wal mart owns. I've been wanting a serivce like netflix over here!

Re:asda (2, Funny)

Lu Xun (615093) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174676)

Asda? Did someone just fiddle with their left hand at the business name registration office??

Re:asda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174681)

I prefer to rent > DVDXCOPY (rip) > return original. -- PIRACY RULES

Re:asda (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174707)

For the UK, I've been using dvdsontap.com [dvdsontap.com] for more than half a year now and I must say I'm quite pleased with their service.

Patent (5, Funny)

ihummel (154369) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174569)

Quick Jeff Bezos, patent DVD rentals and save us from Walmart!

Ariel Sharon the butcher of Palestine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174711)

Two innocent bystanders dead in Gaza from an That fat slob has murdered more Hamas heroes. Today six more brave fighters slaughtered by US equipment paid for by the US taxpayers.
When will the international community rise up against the filthy country of Israel and drive those criminal scum into the sea? That terrorist Sharon in up to his neck with the blood of innocents he has killed. How much longer can we sit by and watch these Jewish outrages occur??

Re:Ariel Sharon the butcher of Palestine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174774)

No peace until every insect from Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad is killed.

Family fun! (4, Funny)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174570)

Oh boy! Now I can watch the entire Jersey Trilogy [viewaskew.com] without the elaborate strings of curses and insults! Thanks Walmart. We may even be able to get a family-friendly "Pulp Fiction" available for rent soon. Junior will love it.

Re:Family fun! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174749)

Pulp Fiction G-rated, eh?

That would be great, a two-minute long silent movie!

Although they might do it.... (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174573)

Last week my local Walmar had a large vending machine that dispensed the DVD that you wanted to rent. and the machine would accept the returns also.

All I needed was my credit card/ debit card.

Maybe they are looking to expand in both online rental and vending style?

Competition (5, Insightful)

Lizard_King (149713) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174577)

To say the least, that's not going to be good for business

Competition is good for the consumer.

Re:Competition (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174624)

"Competition is good for the consumer."

You forgot to add the obligatory /. "...as long as the Little Guy(tm) triumphs over Big Evil Corporation(tm)."

Wal Mart vs. Microsoft (2, Insightful)

rbullo (625328) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174714)

It's a well known fact that when Wal Mart moves into a town, many small businesses are forced to hang 'em up, because they cannot compete with Wal Mart's prices. Thus, the relevence of this story. Wal Mart may force NetFlix out of buisiness. And given Wal Mart's poor track record for service, I don't think this will be "good for the consumer". If, however, NetFlix has enough money to compete, we

will be better off for it.

Re:Competition (4, Insightful)

Indomitus (578) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174764)

Walmart doesn't tend fo "compete" in the same way as other companies. Since they make up such a large percentage of sales of things like movies, CDs, and magazines they make a lot of demands on distributors that other companies can't ask for. This puts their competition on a very un-level playing field and has the result of killing or severely weakening any threats to Walmart's dominance. That is _not_ good for the consumer in the long run.

Exactly (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174765)

To say the least, that's not going to be good for business

As a Wal-mart stockholder with no stock in NetFlix, I think this will be very good for business.

...and no pop-under ads... (3, Interesting)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174585)

Given that NetFlix has been pushing pop-under ads to my browser, I've chosen to avoid being a customer of theirs. So, as long as Wal-Mart doesn't start doing the same sort of thing, this sounds like a great idea.

I wonder if they'll have a similar "frequent renters get lower priority" scheme to what NetFlix has.

Re:...and no pop-under ads... (1)

BenTheDewpendent (180527) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174664)

I've never seen this from them. but it could be gator or some other nasty adware

just run adaware and remove the spyware/adware thats doing it.

Re:...and no pop-under ads... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174747)

One company that supports pop-up ads vs another that supports the KKK...

Wow, you must REALLY hate those pop-unders! ;)

teh ai lady runs on linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174594)

OMFG have you seen the Halo 2 trailer it's like slow and it's telling you all the stuff you did in the first one then the music kicks in and and the chief comes out and gets a gun the earf is on fire and chief is like fuck this im jumping and HE JUMPS PUT OF TEH SPACESHIP with angels singing and he lands on the bad guys and that annoying ai lady is like GO GET EM TIGER! WILDCAT IS ON TEH SPOKE!!!~`1 and theres less polys but rawkin bumb mappings you can view this on a special MICROSOFT xbox disk that comes with EB games store.

Finally (3, Funny)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174606)

Walmart announced this service 6 months ago, Oh, wait. Not news, Just expanding their service... Of course Considering that walmart tends to bury the competition... and that their "free" trial is 30 days. Buh-by netflix.

Selection problems (4, Insightful)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174611)

Well as we have seen Walmart has a long and unbroken track record of removing/banning/censoring things too non-consertative/too non-christian/too non-'patrotic'/too 'contreversial' for their perceived vanilla brain dead store-goers. It will remain to be seen what they actually make available.

Re:Selection problems (1)

WatertonMan (550706) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174663)

I bought my copy of Mulholland Drive at Walmart. I can't think of too many films they've not had which has a sufficient audience.

Re:Selection problems (2, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174690)

That was part of my thinking.

The reason why I've used Netflix (well, until recently, but that's because I've moved and don't know where I'm going end up for a bit) is so check out some anime, watch it, and return it, rather than spending $20 a pop.

I'd be surprised if Walmart went out of their way to stock titles like that - though, with their buying power, I might be surprised.

Either way, I likes compitition - because then I win.

Re:Selection problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174718)

UNLESS, the competition drives all others out of business....and the prices go up/choices go down.

Wal-Mart can't censor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174806)

Wal-Mart can't censor, but it certainly has the freedom to choose what it sells. If you don't like it, open your own store and sell what you want.

Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (2, Interesting)

Zaphod B (94313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174614)

I really don't mean this to be a troll... but it occurs to me that Wal-mart's core customer group are not exactly likely to own DVD players.

Wal-mart's greatest move (from a financial gain POV) was to move into middling-to-small towns (this means towns with 4000 people or more, or county seats) and take over the businesses downtown, the mom-and-pop stores, by slashing prices. (Whether you like that tactic is irrelevant, it was enormously successful.)

Well, how much are you going to be able to slash prices on an online DVD rental? It's not like Netflix and Blockbuster are higher-priced than the market will bear.

They can try it... but I suspect it won't be a roaring success.

Re:Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174679)

Walmart's core customer group is definitely likely to own DVD players. If you haven't noticed, Best Buy and Walmart both have DVD sections larger than their VHS sections. I would have agreed with you 3 years ago, when less than 10 people I knew owned DVD players, but now I only know about 10 people who don't have one.

Re:Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (4, Interesting)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174724)

Wal-mart's core customer group are not exactly likely to own DVD players

At $40 or so [walmart.com] for a DVD player, who can't afford one?

Well, how much are you going to be able to slash prices on an online DVD rental?

I doubt that's the point. People do their grocery shopping at Wal-mart since groceries are there too. Now they won't have to stop by the video store on the way home either.

Re:Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (1)

Zaphod B (94313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174777)

I stand corrected re: the cost of DVD players. However, I think you've misunderstood the point of the article. Wal-mart have done DVD rentals for aeons... what they're talking about HERE is online rental à la NetFlix.

Re:Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (4, Interesting)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174736)

I really don't mean this to be a troll... but it occurs to me that Wal-mart's core customer group are not exactly likely to own DVD players.

You kidding me? Where else can you get a DVD player for 40 bucks? not Rad Shack.. anything they sell has to be at least 80.. or they wont sell it. Walmart can hook you up with a passable home theater for under 500 bucks.. and they stock a fairly reasonable selection of DVDs and videos. (And yes, even pulp fiction, uncut, last time I was there looking).

So this is the next logical step for them. Super Walmarts have replaced the shopping mall for all intents and purposes. (Sure.. they sell Kmart level CRAP in most cases, but in some instances you can get good deals there.) The one here has a pharmacy, a grocery store, a pearle vision center, automotive, the usual Walmart crap, a decent electronics and sporting goods area, and an outdoors home decor shop. There really isnt any reason to shop anywhere else. (Unless you want to go to home despot for hardware..).

This is exactly the demographic they want.. the kind of people who are at wal-mart three times a week grocery shopping anyway. The difference between a scheme like this and the ill fated VHS in grocery stores, would be selection.

Maeryk

Re:Wal-mart's business model won't work well here. (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174766)

it occurs to me that Wal-mart's core customer group are not exactly likely to own DVD players.

Not yet, but people will see the DVD rental box and say "hey, we need a DVD player !". And smart kids will say "hey, we need a PC with a DVD burner !"

At under $50 per crappy Made In China player... (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174778)

they could give the customer a player as part of a one-year 20-rental deal. DVD hasn't been fancy-ass modern tech for years now.

I'm just wondering... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174615)

...why don't more people reply to my constant messages about how glorious Jennifer Connolly's huge jugs are? Don't you guys like them? What about you geek girls? Don't you sometimes enjoy a little "finger fun" when you see a Connolly photo layout in Women's Day or Redbook or Cosmopoliton?

The only problem for me is... (5, Insightful)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174618)

That when I go to rent a movie, it's usually on a spur of the moment thing. It's like I ask my wife "what would you like to do tonight" and she might say I don't know...wanna rent a movie?

So then we go down to the rental place and look around, not really sure what we want and pick something up and go home THAT NIGHT and watch a movie.

With renting a movie over the net and having it mailed to you isn't quite what we're looking for. We want something we can see that night, not two days from then...because the way we live two days from then we might be doing something else that comes up etc etc. We live by the seat of our pants and never really plan out little things like movie watching in advance.

At least, that's how we play it. Is there really that much need for this out there? Just curious.

Re:The only problem for me is... (1)

s.d. (33767) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174695)

Is there really that much need for this out there?

If Netflix has 1 million subscribers, then yes, there seems to be a market, and other people (Walmart, Blockbuster, etc) will want to compete for it.

Re:The only problem for me is... (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174737)

I'm a bit of both. I like to watch anime from time to time, so I'll go to Netflix, select the stuff I've heard about and want to watch. Then I watch it, decide if I like it, and mail it back for the next one.

Most local video stores don't have that selection, or they don't have that one arty-fartsy film I actually care about seeing "someday".

Local for the new "ultra hot" stuff or just looking for something to watch with my wife, Netflix for the stuff I already know I'd like to see "someday".

Re:The only problem for me is... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174782)

For me it is to get stuff that they don't have at the rental store. For example Anime. I can get Cowboy Beboop watch it when I can and send it back when I get done. But for spur of the moment stuff we still go to Blockbusters.

Re:The only problem for me is... (1)

Matrix272 (581458) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174794)

The way I see it, NetFlix has been setting themselves up for the past few years in a fantastic position to be the first video-on-demand company, when the technology permits. Imagine it from their point of view... You have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of customers who are generally satisfied with you. Now there's this new-fangled technology that lets people (*gasp*) download movies to their computer for a limited time (for the first week... until the hackers and crackers of the world break that encryption too) and you can watch it immediately! All of a sudden, you have people that own computers, are willing to pay at least $20 a month to you, and who love movies, all waiting at your website for the next video-on-demand title that comes out. From my perspective, it looks like they've been planning it for a long time... and it looks like an excellent plan.

This is off topic, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174621)

Is there a store anywhere in the known universe that has a fatter clientel than Walmart?

Johnson's Big and Fat Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174672)

over on fourth.

Also, Arby's.

Re:This is off topic, but... (1)

lordleyton (680703) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174815)

I object to this I am not fat and I always shop at Walmart simple they are cheaper...However why would I need them for an on line service. The service is bad enough in the store. And yes you are right it is full of large folks wearing lycra!

It's bad for cable companies, though (3, Interesting)

HiKarma (531392) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174625)

I have always felt of things like NetFlix, and even the Tivo, as a "poor man's video on demand."

You pick the movies you want, and some time, a few days later they are there to watch at your leisure, taking as long as you want, with pause, rewind FF.

Everything you want from video on demand except the ability to pick a movie right now and watch it right now.

Which turns out to be not so important after all. And it's a lot cheaper than putting in all those servers and 7 megabits to every home of highly reliable bandwidth.

Another example of the old adage that you should never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon full of magtapes, except this time it's a postal van full of DVDs.

Re:It's bad for cable companies, though (1)

Malic (15038) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174671)

"Another example of the old adage that you should never underestimate the bandwidth of a stationwagon full of magtapes, except this time it's a postal van full of DVDs."

Heh, I think I know what book YOU read! Sounds like the "Tanenbaum Text" to me! ;)

This may not be a catastrophe. (3, Interesting)

dirtyboot (158648) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174628)

I'm not *too* worried about this. I think Netflix customers are probably somewhat saavier than your standard Wal*Mart customer. Granted, Wal*Mart has the advantage of being able to pour money into the program (a la Microsoft's Ultimate TV) and the advantage of brick 'n' mortar stores to push the product, but if they play the same censoring games as they do with their music, I don't see them taking off. Hell, even Blockbuster is beginning to see the original-aspect-ration light.

If Netflix embarks on an even semi-intelligent ad campaign, I think they have a fighting chance.

-d

Thanks, but No Thanks (1, Interesting)

Jack Comics (631233) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174631)

Gee, just what I always wanted! A censored DVD rental company! Sigh. I have lost complete and total respect for Wal-Mart over the years. First they started flexing their muscles to censor the video game industry and made it plain that any video game they didn't like wouldn't be sold by Wal-Mart, thus making game companies cave and self-edit their games. Then they pulled some men's magazines off their shelves that had less female skin than most women's magazines these days. Now they want to start renting out DVDs, which I'm quite sure are censored? Heh, good luck.

It's a shame they're the largest employer in Pennsylvania. :( In the meantime, I'll stick to Target, at least they seem to let consumers decide for theirselves, instead of deciding for the consumers what's right and what's not.

Re:Thanks, but No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174732)

"In the meantime, I'll stick to Target, at least they seem to let consumers decide for theirselves, instead of deciding for the consumers what's right and what's not."

Ahh, the wonders of capitalism!

Re:Thanks, but No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174738)

you know the ONLY peope who bitch about Walmart's CDs are punk kids that whine because mommy wont take them to the mall.

Everyone else who is older than 16 simply buy them at media play or other record stores...

Oh yeah... Emineimem is so revolutionary... only a genius can say F**King C**T over and over ...

get a clue, grow out of your potty mouth stage and mature a little.... get your msuic from a real store and not a kiddie store.

Re:Thanks, but No Thanks (1)

NotTheAntiChrist (119853) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174773)

Maybe netflix can stay afloat by doing for porn what they did for "regular" rentals ;) Although I'm sure they already rent porn, they'll just have to change their image a little bit more.. Porn sells. Well.

i don't know (1)

zoloto (586738) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174634)


Customers order the movies online. Wal-Mart sends them from six distribution points, reaching 90 percent of the nation within two days, the company says


this usually means i have to wait a couple of days? WHen you and your spouse/bf/gf have that spur of the moment movie itch, this won't help... unless they can burn the dvd as you wait in the store. . now that would be good

Now just need 10 moves per year worth seeing (1, Troll)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174635)

These services are great. But there is so little worth seeing. I barely watch TV anymore for the same reason.

Wal-Mart and family unfriendly content (1, Redundant)

astrashe (7452) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174637)

Unless Wal-Mart can do something a lot better than Netflix, I'd be reluctant to switch.

Wal-Mart has been in the news recently for covering up Cosmopolitan magazine. Are they going to push movie suppliers for reedited versions of films, the way Blockbuster has done?

I know that most people won't look at it this way, and Wal-Mart is an 800-lb gorilla that will probably squash Netflix. But I can't imagine Wal-Mart's politics not getting in the way of their ability to do a good job in this business.

Re:Wal-Mart and family unfriendly content (1)

Koozie (190453) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174742)

So far I've been very happy with the service provided by Netflix. Like you, I'm not planning to switch.

I must admit I do welcome the competition. I'm interested to see what Walmart or Blockbuster will add to make their service more appealing.
- price
- speed(how close is the distro center)
- web interface.

koozie.org [koozie.org]

Re:Wal-Mart and family unfriendly content (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174755)

I would be willing to bet that Walmart won't follow the 'frequent renter = longer delay' policy that Netflix has. Walmart can easily afford to stockpile more movies than Netflix can, allowing them to fulfill orders faster. That damn policy of Netflix's is the only reason I'm no longer their customer. First come-first serve is the way it should be.

Censorship (1, Redundant)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174641)

With Walmart's track record in "mature" movies and video games, I have to wonder whether they will carry unrated and NC-17 movies in their original versions, or employ a Blockbuster type policy where the studio must make movies fit "Rated R" or below. I've been pretty happy with Netflix, and I naturally distrust a company with shameless business practices like Walmart. Search google for "Walmart Sweatshops" if you're curious.

Re:Censorship (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174721)

Walmart.com doesn't have the same censorship practices or policies, most likely because the only reason for the B&M restriction policies is that they were/are beating K-mart into the ground for not being "family friendly".

More atrocities from the terrorist Israelis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174645)

Two innocent bystanders dead in Gaza from an Apache gunship shooting at a Hamas hero. Today six more brave fighters slaughtered by US equipment paid for by the US taxpayers.
When will the international community rise up against this disgusting ficticious country of Israel and drive those criminals into the sea? That terrorist Sharon in up to his neck with the blood of innocents he has killed. How much longer can we sit by and watch these Jewish outrages occur??

Good news (1)

unixwin (569813) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174653)

More competition, more power to the consumer. If you think I'm kidding see what intel offers today compared to when AMD wasn't around and ofcourse the price. Do you even think that their processors would be around the $400 mark if there was no AMD?

Except in NYC (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174656)

Is there a walmart in NYC? We got a lot of people here ya' know. Come to think of it, I didn't see one in san francisco.

The real question, though... (0, Redundant)

mhore (582354) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174657)

Wal-mart does sell R-rated movies (last time I checked)... but I wonder if Wal-mart will do any kind of severe content selection? We all know how they fark up the music they sell there. Wonder if they'll not rent certain kinds of movies (NC-17, and some of the more R R-rated movies).

bad for business? (2, Interesting)

Maeryk (87865) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174659)

How exactly is this bad for business? Is it bad for business like Canon coming out with copiers was bad for Xerox business? You know, where it drove the exhorbitant price of copiers down to where most of us have them built into our 300 dollar printer? Yeah.. I see how bad that has been for Xerox.

Its not "bad" for business, it is just business. It is competition. If walmart undercuts NetFlix by .50c, netflix can A) price to match, B) add a benefit that makes their slightly higher-than-the-otherguy price worth it, C) go out of business. Either way, its good for the consumer, and thats pretty much the bottom line.

I tend to not shop Amazon, beause I dont like thier policies, and i can usually find something at close to the same price. (And, I can usually get brick and mortar stores to match Amazon's price to get my sale.) I suspect the same thing will happen here. A lot of people DONT LIKE Wal-Mart.. and wont rent from them. But anything that kills BLockbuster and 48Hours is good, imho. I still think the ridiculously high price that they charge for DVD's will come down as people find it cheaper to rent them enough to get tired of them.
(Okay.. so its not so ridiculous anymore, but why does it seem the more successful the film in the theaters, the cheaper it is to get, but it costs three times that for something that is slightly more obscure? The costs of production of the DVD's should be about the same, shouldnt they?)

maeryk

Netflix bent over to collect Sales Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174661)

I am a customer of Netflix since four years ago.

These bastards started collecting sales tax here in Florida about three years ago; sissy pushovers found it easier to ram me than to stand up for an internet free of tax.

I will be jumping into Wal-Mart's embrace ASAP. I couldn't do it before, but will now.

Bad for business (2, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174662)

To say the least, that's not going to be good for business

Um, yeah, maybe not for Netflix. But I thought competition was good?

Blatant copy? (1)

svenjob (671129) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174666)

When I went to Wal-Marts DVD rental site, it had the look-and-feel of NetFlix. It doesn't have all of the fancy way to rate the movies, but it def. has the feel of NetFlix. I wonder how they are able to copy the site so blatantly without recourse.

Re:Blatant copy? Details Please (1)

Little Brother (122447) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174723)

At this point you say it has the same "look-and-feel" of NetFlix. Having never been to a NetFlix, please, give more detail as to what is the same. For with the amount of information in your post I can't tell if you mean it has what looks like a NetFlix logo, but with WalMart in it, or if it just gives off the same psychic 'vibes' or if titles are simply organized into the same catagory. Please, when you say somebody is copying somebody else, give at least some examples of what is copied, otherwise your post, while perhaps true and noteworthy, doesn't have enough information in it to back it up and so won't give any information to people who don't already agree with you. (Those who disagree can say "no it isn't" and have contributed just as much as you, and those with no opinion have no information to judge their opinion on.)

Heh, oops (1)

Little Brother (122447) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174818)

Just now realized NetFlix, and the WalMart thing are Online only, I could have gone to each site in the amount of time it took to write the post. Still, details would have been nice. But my apologies for not first reading the story.

Morality (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174673)

I think at least one thing wal-mart has going against it is the worry that they could try to inject their social mores into which DVDs they carry.

If they do not do this, that's fine, but if you're going to limit your selection so you don't carry 'immoral' stuff it's going to hurt you. Not carrying stuff you disagree with isn't a problem if you're the big superstore people go to for convenience, but once they reach the online arena, well, if you're going to bother renting movies online then most likely you're going to be the kind of person who actually thinks "Kite" is kind of neat. There's a reason that people buy music from amazon.com before they'll buy it from Walmart.com, and yes, Marilyn Manson probably has something to do with it.

Then again, maybe Wal-mart's gotten a bit more flexible about that as of late.. i found our local wal-mart carrying "the boondock saints" last week. Given, we're in a college town, but that's still pretty surprising.

I heard Blockbuster for awhile censored their tapes. Is this true, and have they stopped doing it with the move to DVD?

Is Walmart turning into a monopoly? (1)

chendo (678767) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174675)

If Walmart proceedes to start swallowing bits of everything, and succeeds in them all, we'll have something like Microsoft again :/

Personally, I have never seen a Walmart in my entire life. They only have K'mart down here in Australia :p

You want to make some SERIOUS money? (5, Funny)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174686)

Rent DVD porn. I'm serious, the porn market on the internet already makes insane amounts of money. All you need to do is start up a NetFlix service that rents out DVD porn.

Both NetFlix and the new Wal-Mart service will not carry such titles.

And if anyone out there knows of a service like this already, please, let me know :-D

Wal-mart conservative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174698)

That would mean Netflix would have to offer 'off color' DVDs. They currently do not. This is how the 'other' rental places (besides Hollywood and Blockbuster) manage to stay in business though.

Rented pr0n by mail. And the Netflix recommendations!

You gave "Asian Amateur Beach Party!" 4 stars...
we think you'll give
"Li Does LA III" 3.2 stars....

Jesu Christo.... (1)

Elvisisdead (450946) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174704)

Once my mom finds out about this, I'm going to have to tell her what a DVD player is and how to use one of those, too.

Let's me see here... (3, Funny)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174712)

Wlamart has food, clothing, gasoline, and domestic services all in one handy area..

I guess as soon as they offer housing and, then the dream of corporate feudalism will be complete. ;)

Long time now... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174715)

This is not news. Walmart's service has been going since before I signed up myself. While /. was linking to walmart's first $200 PC, anyone browsing the DVD section would see a "Rent" link, which would tell you about this service.

In fact, I concacted Netflix, and the response was quite fair...

Netflix has several distribution facilities, while Walmart has one, which means most of the US will have a nice long wait to get their titles. Netflix has a much larger library as well. Why would you use Walmart's service? Save just over a buck, only so you can have a service many times more crappy...

Saying Walmart is going to kill Netflix is like saying Slashdot is going to kill CNN...

Re:Long time now... (1)

Little Brother (122447) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174770)

Slashdot is going to kill CNN...

You cannot kill that which is already dead. I consider CNN dead from the point it switched over to the "new" format and became as crappy as any other TV news.

Re:Long time now... (1)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174785)

Did you not read the above, six distribution facilities for Walmart.

Plus, most of the U.S. will have 2 day service.

Sorry, just read the article.

First there was one... (1)

Dynastar454 (174232) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174726)

...and now there are many. Something like this was inevitable given the growth of the on-line DVD rental industry. You had the trailblazer [netflix.com] , then a few specialists [greencine.com] started showing up, and now the big boys [walmart.com] jump into the fray. It's how almost all new markets progress.

More here (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174729)

They are just expanding this [writenews.com] service.

"We know from industry figures and our own sales figures that about a third of all households in the U.S. have DVD players. And that number is growing," Severson said

This could work for WalMart. As DVD players get cheaper, the number of households owning DVD players will go up. Walmart can sell the cheap DVD players AND rent out the DVDs.

Corporations don't need it (2, Insightful)

NeB_Zero (645301) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174735)

Why rent a DVD, then have to wait for it???? Go to your locally owned, operated, mom and pop video store and check out an indie flick, or a new release even. Support your local stores and help your local economy. Wal-mart employs one of my parents, but my town's local economy is shrinking, and this town could one day dry and blow away. I think this is a common thing all over the U.S.

In short, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESSES.

Thank you

Walmart customer are 'net savvy???? (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174745)

/Troll

Walmarts were typically found in smaller towns where they can crush competitors easily. Then they started moving into medium size towns and crushed the competition again (Kmart, Montgomery Wards, etc...). /end Troll

Having stated this, I do not think that Walmarts typical, in store, customers would rent dvds online. Walmart may be able to steal all of Netflicks clientel. I, however find this doubtful.

Most 'net renters are "early adoptors" and renting dvds online is still in its infancy. I do not think that Walmart can attract these customers since these customers realize how evil Walmart is and would most likely die if their friends found out they use Walmart services.

Who's going to be working there? (1)

Polyphemis (450226) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174762)

Unless I hear some damned glowing reviews of how good the service is in my area, I know that there is NO way I'll touch this with a 20-foot pole. I worked at Wal-Mart for eight months and based on the human detritus and mediocrities they hire, and how pathetically little they train and oversee them, I wouldn't trust ANYONE on their end to EVER get anything I ordered right. And if there any problems, what then? Customer service? A fucking joke.

I hope this fails miserably, or at least makes Netflix a more popular choice. I don't care if I'd be paying more, I KNOW that the chances of me getting any kind of quality service from Wal-Mart is slim at best. What kind of selection do you think they'll have anyway? They won't sell anything uncensored.

This has been around ... (1)

jasonsfa98 (648370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174772)

I've already had an account with them an canceled. It works just fine, but I don't like subscription services.

This works great if you are house-bound... (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174783)

My mother is not able to get around anymore, and netflix has been an excellent service for her. She is the kind of account that Netflix (or Wal-Mart) don't want, as she gets movies constantly. Of course they would rather you sit on a couple, three movies all month.

If you are stuck at home, this is great news. And the fact that wal-Mart can do it in a couple days is even better.

Nothing rated R at WalMart, please... (2, Interesting)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174790)

I doubt WalMart will carry anything with either nudity or controversy. I mean they just pulled Cosmo off their shelves because it was too tittilating. Being so 'family oriented' eliminates a *huge* proportion of the films out there.

I think NetFlix can survive simply on the fact that they can carry a wider selection of films...

Um how? (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174793)

"To say the least, that's not going to be good for business"

How exactly? Walmart has to compete, therefore service is better and/or price is lower. Benefit: Consumer. Netflix has a large competitor, therefore service gets better and/or price is lowered. Benefit: Consumer. Somebody'll probably win. So what? The competition is where the good stuff happens.

"If Walmart/Microsoft/Intel/*AA joins the party, then it'll automatically become a bad thing."

walmart has the tools, however (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174820)

can't NetFlix use the publicity that walmart brings and the mainstream acceptance-ness to grow their business even larger. its the kind of news that will help them promote themselves. if they redouble their current efforts now, they know the business, they should be able to stay ahead for some time to come.

Poem from Lord of the Rings applies ... (1, Funny)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#6174821)

One STORE to rule them all,
One STORE to find them,
One STORE to take them all,
And in the Darkness bind them.

In Arkansas* where shadows lie.

(*HQ of WalMart)

All this whining about censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6174826)

Many of the comments so far have been about Wal-Mart censoring what they sell and how the posters don't like it. All I have to say is, if you don't like wal-mart's policies DON'T SHOP THERE! It is as simple as that. Continue using netflix's service if you hate wal-mart. Like it or not wal-mart can choose what they will or won't sell. Just like the local Christian bookstore can choose not to carry the satanic bible. You never see the satanists whining about that, they have their own bookstores! Jeez people, start thinking!
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