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Apple in Talks with Wal-Mart over Movies

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the ugh-corporate-politics dept.

176

Alex, Variety.com writes "If you can't beat 'em ... Apple and Wal-Mart are in discussions over an alliance that could allow the giant retailer to profit from iTunes video downloads. Apple would then gain access to titles from every major studio." From the article: "A deal could take the form of a digital download 'coupon' that would allow consumers to buy movies, TV shows or music on iTunes with Apple paying the retail giant a percentage of the proceeds, one industry insider said ... Hollywood has been closely watching Disney's relationship with Wal-Mart in the wake of the deal. When Wal-Mart caught wind of talks between the studios and Apple, it threatened to cut its order of 'High School Musical' over the summer. Disney CEO Bob Iger did the deal with Jobs anyway, and the rest of Hollywood has been watching to see if and when the other shoe drops."

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Getting in bed with the devil... (2, Insightful)

z-kungfu (255628) | about 8 years ago | (#16244691)

that's what Apple would be doing... Grow some balls Steve...

Re:Getting in bed with the devil... (2, Insightful)

smidget2k4 (847334) | about 8 years ago | (#16244875)

Seriously. If Wal-Mart will be profiting from each download sold then I simply won't buy the downloads. I haven't given Wal-Mart a red cent in years and I don't plan to start because it is through Apple.

Re:Getting in bed with the devil... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245333)

I haven't given Wal-Mart a red cent in years and I don't plan to start because it is through Apple.

Hoooo, I bet they care a great deal about you. And Apple, too. We real Apple-users laugh about wannabes like you with their Intel-crap.

Re:Getting in bed with the devil... (2, Informative)

ronanbear (924575) | about 8 years ago | (#16245985)

Presumable the article means that Wal-Mart would profit from iTS vouchers purchased in Wal-Mart. They do this in Best Buy right now.

I expect you'll still be able to boycott Wal-Mart, download music and support artists all at the same time.

He does have some (4, Funny)

paranode (671698) | about 8 years ago | (#16244931)

After all he's in deep up to his iBalls with this one.

Re:He does have some (1)

JasonBee (622390) | about 8 years ago | (#16244941)

*groan*

But fun-ny ;)

Re:Getting in bed with the devil... (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | about 8 years ago | (#16244935)

Grow some balls Steve...

Actually, the CEO of Wal-Mart is H. Lee Scott, Jr.

I just hope Wal-Mart isn't corrupted by the pomaceous behemoth.

Re:Getting in bed with the devil... (2, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 8 years ago | (#16245807)

Let's be real here. Apple likes to make money. If this deal is good for Apple, then good for them.

Hardly appropriate (3, Insightful)

thinkzinc (668822) | about 8 years ago | (#16246461)

Job's balls have nothing to do with this issue. Wal-Mart sells 40% of the DVD's from Hollywood. The comapny has threatened the movie studios and so far they are not willing to work with Apple. The new move by Wal-Mart shows that they are an extortion racket. They are also the bigger player. Apple does not have the upper hand. And you should also consider that Wal-Mart can launch its own service. They do not need Apple.

Re:Hardly appropriate (2, Insightful)

coolgeek (140561) | about 8 years ago | (#16246705)

Hollywood really should call Walmart's bluff. No way Walmart is going to hand over 40% of the DVD market to Target, Kmart, Costco, Best Buy, etc. It's the studio execs that need to grow some balls.

And for your completely laughable comment about Walmart launching their own service, I would like to remind you this is precisely what Walmart did when the iTunes Store started selling music. Do you know anyone who buys their Windows-only tracks at $.88 a piece from this service? If you do, I'll bet you know at least 10 people using iTunes for every one using the Walmart service.

Let's play with Monopolistic tendencies! (0, Flamebait)

tonsofpcs (687961) | about 8 years ago | (#16244715)

1) Form giant superstore
2) ?????
3) Profit

For those of you not paying attention, 2 is "Join forces with another giant superstore"

Jump in logic (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | about 8 years ago | (#16244721)

Apple would then gain access to titles from every major studio.

This is a huge jump in logic. It's assuming that the reason why Apple doesn't have access to these titles now is strictly because Wal-Mart is competing with iTunes. The fact remains Apple will still have to hack out distribution deals often on a per-title basis, and many of the studios don't want to offer most of their movies for download at all. It's got nothing to do with Wal-Mart.

All this deal would do is remove one of the smaller obstacles Apple faces in getting more films on iTunes (and my bet is Wal-Mart is probably the least of Apple's headaches). The big obstacles - copyright, DRM, distribution rights, contracts between various parties, etc. - would still remain.

Re:Jump in logic (2, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16245223)

true.. but if walmart looks at the studios and says... "we arn't going to sell it if you don't let it on iTunes" the studios are going to stop in their tracks and bow to walmart.. they are so big they can control what the studios sell...

Re:Jump in logic (2, Interesting)

ConsumerOfMany (942944) | about 8 years ago | (#16245319)

I'm not so sure about this one though. I think there would be major negative effects for Walmart if the average shopper and their kids could not buy the latest Nemo or Tarzan etc in Walmart. It might just make them go WTF and head over to Super Kmart or wherever.

Re:Jump in logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245889)

Not really. Wal-Mart has the business it does because of *price* not selection. If Wal-Mart pulled DVD's, most of the people who shop at Wal-Mart would just buy significantlly fewer DVD's.

Re:Jump in logic (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16246055)

Or diffrent once based on who gives in to them..

walmart has heavy handed tatics .. they can ruin companies by just placing an order and then canceling it.

something most people don't know is that the way walmart does supplier contracts is they place the order - it is delivered - they only pay for the product once it go out the door. While the items are sitting on the shelf or in the back room walmart has no money in them.. like wise when someone returns some thing it goes back to the supplier and walmart gets a credit for it.. so if they order 1000000 widgets and just let them sit in a warehouse for 3 months and then just send them back the suplier paid to make and ship 1000000 widgets and then 3 months later got them handed back to them and never say a dime while the whole time they have all their money on the line.

they break companies.. i have heard stories from people that work in their ware houses about how they will place orders and then when they arive hold them.. and wait then call the supplier back up and demand a reduction in the price or they will send them back because they don't feel it will sell well. at that point unless the supplier is huge they don't have much choice. The way walmart does their suppier contracts makes this all legeal - and they woln't use you if you don't accept the terms..

Re:Jump in logic (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 years ago | (#16245359)

That's what I thought, but why can't you just view this as a sub-contract?

Studios give WalMart a contract to distribute their movies...
WalMart gives iTunes a sub-contract to distribute those movies...

Saves a lot of trouble if that would work out.

OTOH, if WalMart comes to an agreement with iTunes & the studios aren't happy with it, you really think that the studios are going to lock out WalMart?

Re:Jump in logic (1)

zoeblade (600058) | about 8 years ago | (#16245701)

Many of the studios don't want to offer most of their movies for download at all.

I know you're right, but could someone please explain to me why? On the one hand, you've got DVDs, which you need to physically make hundreds of thousands of copies of, then ship them to stores, hope none of them break in the post, hope none of them get sent back because they weren't bought, and hope no one circumvents the easy-to-bypass encryption of them.

On the other hand, there's iTunes downloads, with slightly harder to break encryption (meaning most people are too lazy to bother), zero cost to produce any copies, zero cost to ship any copies, absolutely no copies breaking in the post, and if only five people end up buying the film, then only five copies are made, with nothing left over that has to be sold at embarrassingly cheap prices because no one wants to buy it.

Plus when the standard definition downloads become obsolete, and people buy them all over again at a slightly better resolution, they won't be able to sell the old copies they bought second hand!

So why are movie studios against iTunes downloads, besides WalMart's threats? I'm sure there's a reason, but I can't work it out.

Re:Jump in logic (1)

iwsnet (946715) | about 8 years ago | (#16246085)

WalMart has reportedly threatened major studios with repercussions if they sold on iTunes. Walmart loses money on new DVD sales but uses that as a lure to draw in customers. I'm surprised they don't challenge Apple over digital music sales and CDs.

Not that huge (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 years ago | (#16246311)

This is a huge jump in logic. It's assuming that the reason why Apple doesn't have access to these titles now is strictly because Wal-Mart is competing with iTunes.

That is not correct. The answer is subtly, but importantly, different - it is because Walmart is threatening studios that if they offer downloads through ITMS they will cut off sales.

It's not because Walmart is competing, it's because Walmart threatens NOT to compete and reduce the market availiable to studios!

many of the studios don't want to offer most of their movies for download at all. It's got nothing to do with Wal-Mart.

When the largest retailer in the world says "Hey, if you sign on with Apple we might just stop carrying your DVD's" the choices made thereafter have quite a bit to do with that threat. Disney called Walmarts bluff, but other studios may not be so self assured.

As for studios not wanting to offer movies for download - come on. They do today already via a few online stores with pitiful sales. Do you honestly think that the studios are not looking at Disneys announcement that the have sold 250k movies with no distribution costs and no work on the part of Disney, and are willing to leave that kind of money sitting on the table? That makes no sense. To understand studio desires is very simple, look where the money is. And a LOT of money is flowing into ITMS.

Really the studios have all the power here, if every studio went with Apple would Walmart stop sellign DVD's? I think not. It's a major source of profit for them as well.

Not sure this means what I think it means (4, Interesting)

joshetc (955226) | about 8 years ago | (#16244725)

But if it does, it would be nice to be able to download a movie then pick it up in the store at a later time for only slightly more than the cost of the DVD. Instead of spending $10 for the download and another $20 for the dvd you could spend something like $22 for both in a "package"

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (3, Insightful)

DeadChobi (740395) | about 8 years ago | (#16244795)

I've got a solution for that. Simply buy the DVD, then rip it and encode it. Presto, you've got your digital download and a hard copy all in one.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16245013)

Simply buy the DVD, then rip it and encode it.

Digital downloads are the ultimate in impulse purchases. Say, for example, you're sitting at home on a weeknight, there's nothing on TV, and you have too much time on your hands before bed. Do you:

a) Get dressed, get in your car, drive to Wal-mart, purchase a DVD, wait in the checkout line, drive home, and pop it in the DVD player; or

b) Open iTunes, browse the movie/TV selections, download and watch your movie/TV Show

If you've got broadband, "b" is almost always preferential. Option "a" is just too much of a hassle, and the store may be closed anyway. (Especially for those poor late shift workers.) The only thing that holds consumers back on making that sort of purchase is price. No matter what studios think, a digital download does not have as much intrinsic value as a packaged Disc. Which means that if the consumer feels that the digital price is too close to the price of the physical copy, they're not going to spend the money. While studios may think this means that the consumer will go purchase the DVD, more likely it means that they'll purchase NOTHING.

If they wanted the movie bad enough to get a DVD, they would have gotten a DVD rather than a digital download. DVDs have more value as "keepsake" items due to their special features and permanent, physical storage. Thus digital downloads will be likely to complement DVD sales rather than usurp them. Which means that Walmart should keep carrying Batman Begins, but they can drop Ultraviolet.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (0)

NineNine (235196) | about 8 years ago | (#16245435)

b) Open iTunes, browse the movie/TV selections, download and watch your movie/TV Show

Uuuhhh... I think it's more like "Open iTunes, browser the movie/TV selections, download your movie... wait an hour or two for the download to complete, then watch.

I don't care what kind of residential service you have, we're not at the point where you can just click on a movie, and suddenly have DVD quality at home. Even a single layer DVD is 4.something gig, and I've never seen a server or a PC or a network card that could handle that much data in anything less than an hour or so. Sure, you may be able to get some crappy Real streaming version that you have to squint to see in some tiny window, instantly, but that's about it. Downloading movies to watch (not pirate) isn't going to be popular for several more years, at least.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16245719)

Uuuhhh... I think it's more like "Open iTunes, browser the movie/TV selections, download your movie... wait an hour or two for the download to complete, then watch.

BZZT. Try again. I start watching iTunes downloads within seconds of the download starting. There's usually enough bandwith for full streaming.

I don't care what kind of residential service you have, we're not at the point where you can just click on a movie, and suddenly have DVD quality at home.

You don't really think that Apple is sending MPEG-2 files, do you? From what I understand, they're using far tighter Quicktime/MPEG-4 compression schemes. (Note that not all of their videos use the same scheme.) An hour long TV show (usually about 45 minutes without commericals) is usually only 300MB. Which comes out to (300 * 1024) / (45m * 60s) [google.com] , or 113kb/sec. Most broadband connections can handle that sort of data rate. Even if you can only get, say, 80k/sec, you don't have to buffer for very long before you can start watching.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 8 years ago | (#16246523)

A 4.5 gig Movie shrunk down to 300 MB? No thanks. You can keep it. If I wanted that kind of quality, I'd attach some rabbit ears and aluminum foil to my TV. A 300 MB streaming file that you have to watch on your computer is not in any way a substitute for a DVD.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 years ago | (#16246803)

Even with "good" MPEG4 compression you are still talking about 1G for a
DVD quality movie with NO special features. Make it 2G for all the extras.

        Then you have to worry about your ISP and what their bandwidth cap
policies are. An 8G monthly limit is not unusual.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#16245785)

Which is why OnDemand Cable is such a good thing. Sure it's not DVD quality (Ok you can argue that it is, but it's more compressed than most DVDs i'v seen), but you can watch it instantly, rewind, fastforward and pause just like a DVD. And you can start watching the movie in Under a minute. Also, the prices that I see are the same as renting at BlockBuster. I know you can get movies cheaper at the corner store or indy video store, but On Demand cable is where it's at. I think that this distribution model is much better than iTunes, because you can easily watch it on your home theatre, without having to worry about hooking it up to your PC, and without having to wait.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | about 8 years ago | (#16245505)

But does the download speed of most consumer broadband allow for that, or is it Impulse-buy - Endless wait - Give Up - Watch It Tommorrow?

I love the instant gratification of iTunes Music Store (deadly on the bank account when combined with a laptop, home wireless network and The Alternative on VH-1 Classic...), but I don't think the experience is the same when your downloads are 4x the size.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16245803)

But does the download speed of most consumer broadband allow for that, or is it Impulse-buy - Endless wait - Give Up - Watch It Tommorrow?

Why is it that people keep telling me that it's impossible to do what I've already been doing for weeks?!?

Listen, I've already watched:

- Aquaman
- The entire, currently available season of Eureka (10 episodes as of last night)
- Heros
- Various BSG freebies

Each time I've been able to start watching within moments of starting the download. So please, people; STOP TELLING ME IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. M'kay?

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

EatHam (597465) | about 8 years ago | (#16245671)

a) Get dressed, get in your car, drive to Wal-mart, purchase a DVD, wait in the checkout line, drive home, and pop it in the DVD player; or b) Open iTunes, browse the movie/TV selections, download and watch your movie/TV Show


c) Go to the on-demand service provided by my cable company, choose a movie, and start watching it immediately.

I choose "C".

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16245855)

c) Go to the on-demand service provided by my cable company, choose a movie, and start watching it immediately.

You *do* realize that on-demand is Option B, right? Just because it's a different service doesn't mean that it's not a digital download.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

maxume (22995) | about 8 years ago | (#16245691)

Open a book? I would think that most people who have the option would go with pay-per-view, especially if they have figured out, like I have, that the best way to never watch something again is to buy the DVD.

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | about 8 years ago | (#16245065)

Are you serious? Thats a great solution- for techies...
You make money (the wal mart and ipod way) by selling to the masses. Do you think the average DVD consumer knows how to rip and encode their dvds? Do you think that everyone, even if they have the time and ability, will want to go that route???

Re:Not sure this means what I think it means (1)

mgblst (80109) | about 8 years ago | (#16245351)

Yeah, but then you have to get out of bed, put on some pants,.... need I go on?

Thats actually a great incentive (1)

Nazmun (590998) | about 8 years ago | (#16246065)

Currently itunes video's that i've downloaded were of atrocious video quality @dvd prices ($40ish for a full season of a series). Knowing that I'd get a DVD would be quite reasuring.

Amazon.com has me somewhat salvating. Prices are still decent but from the file specifications that quality might be much higher.

firsty! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16244735)

first post and i'm a spaz!

If you can't beat 'em? (3, Insightful)

dougman (908) | about 8 years ago | (#16244799)

I'm not sure I see why this is a "If you can't beat 'em - Join 'em" deal. Was Apple trying to beat Wal-Mart?

Seems to me that they're just looking to a different channel to market their product since the first channel wasn't interested.

Huh? (1)

Devv (992734) | about 8 years ago | (#16244829)

Is this DRM movies? If so I hope that I can still buy them in the shop. I mean I really enjoy watching a movie now and then.

Re:Huh? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16244933)

Is this DRM movies? If so I hope that I can still buy them in the shop. I mean I really enjoy watching a movie now and then.

You know DVDs have DRM on them already, right?

Sweet deal! (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 8 years ago | (#16244837)

So, does this mean I'm entitled to part of the profits all my competitors make, on basis that they're taking money I could have made had they not had a more sucessful and up-to-date business model?

Note to self: sue everyone!

Look out, Apple (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 8 years ago | (#16244853)

Wal mart runs rough shod over its partners and suppliers. When there's no more blood to draw, they find some other "partner." And you thought Microsoft played rough.

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/77/walmart.html [fastcompany.com]

Re:Look out, Apple (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 8 years ago | (#16245151)

I agree. This is probably the strangest business combination I could imagine. Apple specializes in selling low quantities of very expensive items. Wal-Mart specializes in selling high quantities of very cheap items. I don't see how these two companies have anything in common. And you're right. If anything, Apple will get absolutely fucked by this deal, and Wal-Mart just won't care.

dont have to have anything in common (2, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | about 8 years ago | (#16245571)

Apple specializes in selling low quantities of very expensive items. Wal-Mart specializes in selling high quantities of very cheap items.

Congratulations, this is why it could work out. You now have the spectrum of people who buy cheap (walmart) and people who pay the Apple Tax (apple). You have two different segments of the market that neither one can hack due to stereotypes. And when you combine their powers...

Re:Look out, Apple (1)

joshv (13017) | about 8 years ago | (#16246427)

"This is probably the strangest business combination I could imagine. Apple specializes in selling low quantities of very expensive items. Wal-Mart specializes in selling high quantities of very cheap items."

Last I checked Apple had sold millions of digital files at around 99 cents each.

So what other "partner" will they find (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 years ago | (#16246551)

Wal mart runs rough shod over its partners and suppliers. When there's no more blood to draw, they find some other "partner."

Yes but here you are talking about all of Hollywood.

If WalMart decides to stop selling DVD's, what are they going to do - only offer Bollywood DVD's? I guess they could do some tie-in marketing and have a sale on winter Saris. I'm sure that will make up for the ginormous revenue stream they would loose not selling DVDs.

It's not like there are other suppliers of the popular product WalMart is selling.

That doesn't add up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16244857)

Something doesn't add up. Why would Apple give Wal-Mart a portion of all of it's sales. That article is pretty poorly written, and seems to be rushed to be the first to report it.

As a shareholder, that's disappointing on several levels.

Re:That doesn't add up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245353)

You mentioned that you RTFA, so that must mean you reading comprehension level is about that of an ADD riddled inner-city Atlanta 3rd grader.
Since studios (except for Disney, of course) have so far turned a cold shoulder to iTunes because of Wal-Mart's demands, the computer giant would then gain access to titles from every major.
I'm not verifying this information, just answering your statement/question.

You're welcome.

In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should worry (5, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | about 8 years ago | (#16244861)

Wal-Mart's aleged threat to cut Disney orders if Disney started selling through iTunes would, in an honest administration, be an instant anti-trust lawsuit by the Department of Justice.

Its perfectly legal and valid for Wal-Mart to squeeze its suppliers when they sell to Wal-Mart, but to threaten suppliers because they are selling through other venues, when Wal-Mart has an unquestioned monopoly in many areas, would be asking for intervention.

However, with the current DoJ completely toothless, and prefering Seattlements (eg, the Microsoft anti-trust resolution) to actually going after entrenched business interests (especially hard-core republican supporters like the Waltons), Wal-Mart doesn't need to worry.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (4, Insightful)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#16244997)

Wal-Mart sucks the essense out of every product they buy. They've put more companies out of business by buying their products than by moving into small towns and setting up shop. I hate Wal-Mart and refuse to buy anything there unless absolutely necessary. If Apple starts dancing with the Devil, I'm probably out of ITMS for good. Sure, I'll let them give me iTunes updates and update my iPod, but I will stop buying music from them. I never purchased movies from iTunes, but this would definately stop me.

Got a lot of friends who've been working for Wal-Mart for years and have been getting the shaft the whole time. Wal-Mart does not care about its employees or suppliers. I work in the health-care industry, particularaly with insurance providers. Wal-Mart contracts through Blue Cross of Illinois for benefits of their 'full-time' work force. (Meaning 40 hours a week, but they won't pay you overtime if you work 60 one week and 20 the next). You want a bad benifit package, ask a Wal-Mart employee. The government offers far better insurance for people below the poverty line and for much cheaper. And your average full-time (non-manager) Wal-Mart employee is at poverty-level income.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (1)

deafNewt (1003036) | about 8 years ago | (#16245121)

Absolutely. I can attest to your statement from personal experience. I sued Wal-Mart on behalf of an employee for disability discrimination for some absolutely ridiculous behavior; it was one of the best cases of my career (even though it was only small money). The problem is that in our consumer-driven society, people only want the bottom dollar price and will not consider the other costs of buying at Wal-Mart. DON'T SHOP AT WAL-MART! They suck the life out of the communities they infest.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245277)

Bah, I live in a town where the Wal-Mart is all there is to do. It's the main attraction. There's no life-sucking going on; it's just the modern equivalent to the town marketplace. Just with more flourescent lights and people riding around in little scooters.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 8 years ago | (#16245629)

So what did people do in your town before Walmart came? Did they literally do nothing? Or was there something else to do, and Walmart sucked the life out of it?

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245987)

Probably all gathered around some other commerce-based institution, I suspect. I suppose you could say that it "sucked the life" out of some general store or something but that would presuppose that an inanimate economic construct could have life to begin with. It's no different than hanging out at the mall, really. And the only difference between that and, say, hanging out at church is the economic gain to be had by Wal-Mart. So if there's an ethical difference between the two it must hang on the fact that for some reason being at a place that sells stuff is morally worse than being at a place that doesn't.

re: Wal-Mart and employment (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 8 years ago | (#16245339)

I don't disagree.... but I still have to keep asking myself *why* people keep working for Wal-Mart, given the raw deals they offer? There are numerous articles out there about Costco offering a FAR better deal to employees than Sam's Club (owned by Wal-Mart) does - yet they're the same format of business.

Ultimately, no business can continue offering poor pay and benefits and survive, unless people keep on signing up to work at those poor wages.

I mean, I get why Wal-Mart might have initially gotten away with it. The business model involved building in small towns where there wasn't much else around. But these days, you've got several in every major city too - where there are surely plenty of other retails outlets a person could work at.

Re: Wal-Mart and employment (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | about 8 years ago | (#16245605)

For a lot of these people, its wal-mart or nothing. (does wal-mart employ illegals from south of the border like some people do?)

I am sure that if these people could get jobs elsewhere (k-mart, target or any other place) they would. But they cant.

Re: Wal-Mart and employment (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#16245615)

I honestly don't know why people continue working at Wal-Mart. I have a friend who has put in 4 or 5 years there, she's full-time w/o benifits. The reason she doesn't get a job? Apathy. She's comfortable there and doesn't have the will/drive/spirit to find a new job. If you walk through these places, you'll see two types of workers. Kids who don't care, and relatively defeated adults, with few exceptions. They either don't care, or are broken.

Another reason they don't leave is becuase all the other retail stores and other job sources are full. You work at Wal-Mart because you don't have any other choices. Not for the benifits of the job. Not for the low pay. Not for the 10% discount card (they'd more than make up for the discount at another job). Wal-Mart gets away with screwing their employees because their employees typically have no other choice.

Re: Wal-Mart and employment (1)

MyNameIsEarl (917015) | about 8 years ago | (#16245681)

I think NYC is a major city and you won't find a Wal Mart here, in the suburbs sure, but not within city limits and I'm not driving to Jersey or Long Island to save a dollar on socks.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (1)

YorgleLlama (814842) | about 8 years ago | (#16245503)

If this is indeed the case, and there's no way to get an iTunes product without buying in to the WalMart crap, then I too will stop being a loyal iTunes Store customer... as are many friends and relatives with some semblance of ethics.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (1)

Ucklak (755284) | about 8 years ago | (#16245963)

Wal-Mart sucks the essense out of every product they buy.

There is no `essence` in sporting goods, cheap furniture, mass produced DVDs, diapers, and toilet paper.
If you want nice furniture that has `essence`, go to Robb and Stucky or some guy that builds chairs in his garage; but then you'll bitch about the high prices.
I will say that I am surprised that Wilson still has a lot of `hands-on` in the process of making tennis balls.
Wal-Mart provides goods that are `good enough` for the people that shop there.

I suppose you're going to bitch about the $4.00 prescriptions that Wal-Mart will offer saying that they will undercut the CVS, OSCO, Walgreens, and local drugstore pharmacies. Let's just forget about the people that will benefit from that because they should be paying $20/bottle just to be fair.
Wal-Mart pays their staff what they're worth and obviously what they're willing to take. You can't demand $1,000,000 for a $200,000 home. It doesn't work that way.
People aren't assigned employment at Wal-Mart, they voluntarily walk in the door and fill out an application.
Wal-Mart empowers people to have things that they normally wouldn't have and for rural America, provide a much needed service for thousands of people.

If you've ever lived in a small town where the real town was 20+ miles away, Wal-Mart is a very much appreciated entity.

I have my issues with Wal-Mart especially as it comes to property that the municipalities try to take away from citizens but I blame both the local politicians and Wal-Mart for that.

People may hate termites but they do have a place in the eco-system.

Re:In a honest administration, Wal-Mart should wor (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#16246219)

I didn't say they didn't serve a purpose at one time. Yes, they enable cheaper goods, but at the cost of another economy in another town that they're sucking dry. What I meant buy sucking the essense out of a product is like when they put Rubbermaid out of business because they would no longer buy products from them unless they cut their prices to below operating budget. Just like they do with all their product maker. They put other communities out of business. When they suck one of those dry, they find another and suck it dry. They've been doing it for years.

Hmmm (1)

tbone1 (309237) | about 8 years ago | (#16244863)

Methinks this is different. I wonder if Apple is working on a deal with Wal-Mart so that people can buy iTS giftcards at Wal-Mart. Or maybe Apple has another studio or two lined up and WallyWorld has decided that, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Whatever one things of Wal-Mart, they aren't run by idiots. If the on-line distribution of video is going to happen in the future, and surely it is, it would be in their best interest to get in on the ground floor with the best (ie most proven, most popular, and most profitable) of the companies doing this.

Then again, maybe there is something brewing with another of Apples products: maybe computers or iPods, which I've heard they still make.

Re:Hmmm (1)

EXrider (756168) | about 8 years ago | (#16245923)

I'm 99% sure Wal-Mart already sells iTMS gift cards. I remember seeing them somewhere (and Napster cards at the same time) and thinking "WTF!? They're cannibalizing their own online music store sales?". Anyways, they already sell iPods, so why not?

Freaking Christ. (3, Insightful)

JKConsult (598845) | about 8 years ago | (#16244873)

It's a wonderful thing for Wal-Mart and I don't really fault them for doing it, but this is basically extortion on a grand scale. A new delivery model threatens the very thing that gives Wal-Mart its advantage (their distribution system), and instead of competing straight-up, they threaten their suppliers to the point that the new distribution model has to throw them some money to STFU. So the new distribution model has a chance to compete on a level playing field (being able to offer the same products.) Again, well-played by Wally World, but just sickening.

supposed obligations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16246287)

Wal-Mart is free to to not buy any product it does not want to resell. Most any retailer excludes third rate and/or niche specialty items from its store because no one wants to buy them or that the profit in selling them is not worth the time. Exactly whom is allowed to decide what movies Wal-Mart, Target or other retailers carries? Does they also get to tell the movie studios what movies to produce?

Extortion (1)

Trevin (570491) | about 8 years ago | (#16244955)

Let me see if I got this right: Walmart is using their near-monopoly status to prevent movie studios from supplying Apple with movies unless Walmart get a cut of Apple's sales. Other than that, they are doing no work that deserves compensation.

Sounds like extortion to me.

Is this premature? (4, Interesting)

dschuetz (10924) | about 8 years ago | (#16244981)

I'm certainly not a Marketing Genius, but it seems to me that if the iTunes store really did sell $1,000,000 worth of movies in the first week, then maybe other studios will realize that pissing off Wal-Mart isn't such a big deal after all.

If I were in Apple's place, I think I'd wait a while before giving in to any major retailer. On the other hand, I don't know how gift cards sold at retailers work -- if everyone else who sells an iTunes gift card gets some cut off the top of the cost of the card, then I don't see any issue letting Wal-Mart play in that game, too (which, according to the article, they don't at present).

Didn't a lot of studios initially balk at the idea of TV over iTunes, fearing it'd hurt DVD sales? Somehow I think that movies would go the same way, with initial reluctance, phenomenal sales of the initial Disney titles, growing acceptance, and finally becoming just another standard sales channel.

Re:Is this premature? (1)

mgblst (80109) | about 8 years ago | (#16245409)

Ok, but that is only $52 million in a year. (Sure it will grow, but you can never say by how much, so lets leave that for a moment) Compare that to Billions of DVD sales, and a lot of that is from WalMart (more than any other company) - not really much.

Re:Is this premature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245427)

> if everyone else who sells an iTunes gift card gets some cut off the top of the cost of the card

Of course they do -- like everything else, retailers buy the goods at a wholesale price, sell at the retail price, and keep the difference. This is no different for gift cards - you thought they just carried & sold the cards as a favor?

Apple can come out ahead on the gift cards, even when they sell them at wholesale rates, because a relatively large chunk of their per-song expenses is due to payment processing fees which are a small flat fee plus a percentage of the transaction. The flat fee, though small, is a large % of a $0.99 song, whereas it is a much smaller % of a $15 gift card. For that reason Apple has lots of different ways to buy in larger prepaid chunks so they are not losing as much of their revenue to payment processing. Plus people like the convenience, and like most manufacturers Apple is happy to share their profits with retailers who help them sell more product.

Re:Is this premature? (1)

dschuetz (10924) | about 8 years ago | (#16246487)

>> if everyone else who sells an iTunes gift card gets some cut off the top of the cost of the card

> Of course they do -- [...] you thought they just carried & sold the cards as a favor?

No, not really, but since I've never seen a wholesale invoice for iTunes or other gift cards, I chose to speak non-authoritatively. :)

Re:Is this premature? (1)

OlivierB (709839) | about 8 years ago | (#16245591)

Buddy, hate to break your momentum but according to business week (see link below), Wal-Mart makes up for 40% of the $17bn annual DVD sales.
In my book that accounts to weekly sales of roughly $131mm

$131mm=40%*$17bn/52

I think Wal-Mart wouldn't give a fart even if iTunes sold $10MM worth of movies in the first week.

Money is Hollywood's lifeline, and cutting a weekly flow of $130MM sound's pretty life threatning to me .Yeah I know $130mm is sales, not cost of goods sold, but then again Wal-Mart sells DVD as loss leaders to get people in their stores. You get the point anyway.

Source --> http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/conten t/aug2006/db20060831_806225.htm [businessweek.com]

WIll not stop people buying DVD's (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 8 years ago | (#16246457)

Wal-Mart makes up for 40% of the $17bn annual DVD sales.

But here's the real question - if WalMart stopped selling DVD's, would people stop buying DVD's or simply go over to Best Buy which is generally right next door? WalMart does not exist in a vaccuum.

That's the truth of the matter, WalMart not selling DVD's just means WalMart is out $17bn in sales! It doesn't mean the studios are. Your figures are powerful proof of the original point, that the studios can blow off WalMart on this one. It's never good to let an outlet dictate your behaviour.

Re:Is this premature? (1)

dschuetz (10924) | about 8 years ago | (#16246675)

I think Wal-Mart wouldn't give a fart even if iTunes sold $10MM worth of movies in the first week.

I didn't mean to say that Apple would be a serious threat to Wal-Mart. [on the other hand, if Wal-Mart really doesn't give a fart, why are they trying to persuade studios not to sell movies through iTunes?]

What I was trying to say was that, a single studio, selling like 40 titles or so (I forget the count) sold over $1 million of just those few titles in a single week. That's $25,000 per title. Netflix' home page says they have 65,000 titles in stock. Obviously, every single title won't sell $25000 copies a week, but if, on average, every title sold even just $1000 a week, you'd still have $65,000,000 in weekly sales.

My numbers are probably all screwed up, so don't put faith in them. The point is that a small number of titles, from a single studio, in the first week, sold a helluvalot of copies. I don't think that would be unnoticed by the big studios, and that they should see iTunes as a great sales channel. Plus, it seems (from the article, I believe) that Wal-Mart didn't pull the new Disney titles, anyway, so do studios really have anything to lose by going with iTunes?

Put another way: In just 5 years, the iTunes music store has made it to #5 of all US music retailers, *including* all the physical CD sales from Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc. Is there any reason to suspect that it won't have similar growth in the movie world? (or possibly faster growth, now that people are used to buying music online?)

I just don't really see any advantage for Apple in cutting any kind of special deal with anybody, other than short-term gain that might be eclipsed by simply letting the business grow like they did with music.

(now, the article was really skimpy on details, but the whole discussion might just boil down to Apple selling iTunes gift cards at Wal-Mart, which is such a no-brainer that I'm amazed they don't already do it.)

cringley (2, Interesting)

raffe (28595) | about 8 years ago | (#16245019)

Just as the good old cringley [pbs.org] said at September 14:
The success of Apple's movie download business right now depends mainly on not alienating Wal-Mart.
So for the moment Apple tells Wal-Mart that movies sold through the iTunes Store won't be a threat because of their lower than DVD
resolution. When that fails, Apple will point out that HD-DVD and Blu-ray are coming and Wal-Mart should stop worrying. But
eventually Apple will succumb to its need to sell yet more iPods and will point out that its little gizmo is a fine substitute
for an optical disc. Take your iPod to Target and fill it with movies. Or, better still, buy an iPod at Target and THEN fill it
with movies. Remember that in the end this is all about selling more razors, not more blades, so movie sales don't really matter much to Apple as long as iPods are flying off the shelves.

2 Things (2, Interesting)

Foolicious (895952) | about 8 years ago | (#16245045)

First of all, just let me buy something online via a download without any digital coupons or anything like that. A novel concept would be that I would go to a website, pick a movie and download it. It's pretty complicated, granted, but I think it could be implemented. But that's neither here nor there...

Secondly, and completely unrelatedly, from TFA:

It [Wal-Mart] will sell "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" for $12.99, meaning it will take a hefty loss on each DVD to drive foot traffic in stores.

If they're taking a loss at $13 per DVD what's the real cost? If Wal-Mart buys 300,000 copies of something, do you mean to tell me they're paying more than $12.99 per movie?! I thought they were these great negotiators, cutthroat distributer killers. Or does that only work on toilet paper and tools made in China?

Re:2 Things (1)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | about 8 years ago | (#16245235)

Even better for me would be to navigate on the TV screen with my remote control (Just like I do for Cable movies on Demand) through a huge catalog, and download the movie without getting my butt off the couch, and own the movie. Of course this requires my TV to be hooked up to some type of PC or such in my living room.
So pretty much I would like to be able to buy movies in the same way that I rent pay per view/onDemand movies now.
I always thought that by now, 6 years into the new millenium, we would have some way to have integrated TV/PC in the living room. Oh well...

Re:2 Things (1)

TRRosen (720617) | about 8 years ago | (#16246443)

Yeah Right Wal-Mart is not paying more than 12.99 for those DVDs...actually in the quanities their buying (full pallet per store) I would guess the cost to be less then $10.00.

Apple has a lot to gain.... (4, Insightful)

d0n quix0te (304783) | about 8 years ago | (#16245075)

Apple's Wins:

1. Walmart sells a boatload of iPods. Apple probably wants to keep Microsoft out of the game... Given Walmart's purchasing power, Steve will insist on two things: a)squeeze Microsoft on cost margins further exacerbating Zune's losses b)iPod gets premium shelf spacing other players including Samsung and Microsoft get stored in the back c)iPod accessories get better placement (taking it further perhaps extending Apple's store within a store concept from CompUSA to Walmart d)leverage for margin negotiations over iPod sales

2. Fairplay.... Walmart does not take backstabbing lightly. Microsoft's strategy to drop PFS (remember Walmarts 88cent store is based on PFS) support and create a new DRM standard reeks of screwing their partners. Sure Microsoft thinks they can get away with it because they are a Monopoly. But Walmart is a monopsony.... when a monopoly meets a monopsony its like Godzilla meets Mothra..... Walmart is going to put its weight behind Fairplay... this will create quite a bit of momentum for Apple

3. Apple gets to have major studios onboard with Walmart's support ...

Re:Apple has a lot to gain.... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 years ago | (#16245551)

Sure Microsoft thinks they can get away with it because they are a Monopoly. But Walmart is a monopsony.... when a monopoly meets a monopsony its like Godzilla meets Mothra.....
Yea, but we all know how Godzilla vs Mothra ended

(if you don't, skip to the end of the plot section [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Apple has a lot to gain.... (2, Funny)

GweeDo (127172) | about 8 years ago | (#16245667)

But Walmart is a monopsony....

That just sounds extra scary...

Re:Apple has a lot to gain.... (1)

Foolicious (895952) | about 8 years ago | (#16245687)

  1. Wal-Mart starts in 1962 as Walton's Five and Dime and has large sales volumes. Mothra starts in 1961 as a large blue egg.
  2. Wal-Mart incorporates in 1969 and begins to grow. Mothra hatches from the blue egg and, although only in the larval stage, destroys entire towns.
  3. Wal-Mart erupts in the late 80's and destroys everything in its path. Mothra spins its own cocoon and emerges as an awful, though somewhat puzzling, moth monster that destroys everything in its path.

An excellent and intriguing analogy, this one of Mothra. Quite clearly we cannot depend on Godzilla to battle Mothra. Where does a Spectreman [wikipedia.org] -like figure that we can trust and that is capable of battling both 'Zilla and Mothra fit into the analogy?

Wal-Mart just being a dick because they can (2, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 8 years ago | (#16245213)

I'm having trouble seeing why Wal-Mart has such a big deal with this, other than they can be dicks about it and get away with it.

It's my experience that the people who would be buying movies online are not necessarily the same people who regularly shop at Wal-Mart. There are overlaps, definitely, but on the whole the two markets don't overlap. And maybe that's just my own standard biased view point, but this just seems like a classic bully situation. Wal-Mart needs to be put down.

Are Antitrust Laws still enforced in the US? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245341)

This seems like a clear violation of the The Sherman Act (1890), the Clayton Act (1914),the Robinson-Patman Act (1936) and Federal Trade Commission Act (1914). Why is this allowed to happen?

Re:Are Antitrust Laws still enforced in the US? (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | about 8 years ago | (#16246735)

"Are Antitrust Laws still enforced in the US?"

No. Next question?

So let me get this straight... (1)

TheWoozle (984500) | about 8 years ago | (#16245355)

they basically don't want to make any money off of offering movies over iTunes because of the chance that they won't be making as much as they possibly can. Never mind the fact that since nobody's actually making much money off of downloadable movies at the moment, they don't have any idea what the "sweet spot" for volume/unit cost is.

[sarcasm]Maybe they should adopt the diamond industry's business model and maintain an artificial scarcity to keep prices up.[/sarcasm]

These asshats don't have the first clue. I read this [cnn.com] the other day.
The studios still hate [Apple's pricing of movies], because they think digital movie downloads should be priced higher than physical DVDs, even though there are no physical production, distribution or inventory costs. They should cost more, the reasoning goes, because of the added convenience to consumers.

The "added convenience" of DRM-encumbered files that I can't backup or watch on my other computers?! *cough, splutter*

I cling to the hope that the combined greed of Wal-Mart and the movie studios will reach critical mass and collapse into a metaphyscial black-hole that will take them both into the eternity they so richly deserve.

Where is government when you need it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245383)

Where is government when you need it?
So basically, the situation is that there is a very large retailer angry about new innovative competition. Rather than changing to be more competitive, the large retailer is playing dirty by throwing its almost monopoly powers around to force submission by competition by getting a cut of competitor profits... Why should Walmart get a cut of iTunes video sales and not Target, Best Buy, Fry's, Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and the thousands of other video retailers in the USA.

So what if Walmart pulls Disney movies (1)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | about 8 years ago | (#16245399)

I can still buy Disney movies at grocery store chains, Target, Circuit City, Best Buy, KMart, Amazon, etc. Wally World is not the only game in town. Disney knows this and isn't exactly shaking in their shoes.

The real danger is Wally World shoehorning itself into a position of an exclusive distribution channel, which raises the spectre of RIAA again. The $$$ isn't in the product, it's in the distribution channel and WalMart wants to be there. Maybe the revenue from their cut can go towards providing decent health insurance for their employees, but I'm confident they won't.

I don't really see Apple's fault in this (1)

Vokkyt (739289) | about 8 years ago | (#16245429)

I haven't been following this too closely during it's evolution, but from what I could gather from the front page news bits, it seems like Wal-mart has just been whining and bitching and now Apple is just trying to get them to shut up. Is this really Apple "going to bed with the devil?" Or is it Apple just dealing with a nuisance that has grown into a problem? If Wal-Mart has had the effect of scaring off studios from dealing with Apple, then this is necessary. Very annoying and quite petulent of Wal-Mart, but necessary. In order for the whole movie aspect to work with iTunes, Apple needs to get more revenue than just Disney. They need the movies; if that means appeasing the childish needs of Wal-Mart, then no biggie.

Re:I don't really see Apple's fault in this (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 8 years ago | (#16245587)


Except this is extortion and clearly illegal.

I would be like walmart suing amazon.com. If you don't like competition then go somwhere else.

I wonder if the studios are also using this as leverage against Apple. The studios want to charge a higher rate than what apple is offering. It could be away for them to get apple to set the prices higher.

Re:I don't really see Apple's fault in this (1)

Vokkyt (739289) | about 8 years ago | (#16246129)

While I would agree that it is really underhanded of Wal-Mart, the fact of the matter is that I don't really see Apple as being stupid enough to walk into a bad deal without some sort of reason for doing it. Apple isn't shy about taking things to court, and if there wasn't some benefit they could garner from this, I don't think they would open discussions. Then again, something that is being over looked is that Apple and Wal-Mart are simply discussing things. What they are discussing is a whole different matter; it may not be a deal, as Wal-Mart wants, but instead, Apple showing them what's what.

c08 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245675)

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Just WHO is Wal-Mart ? (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 8 years ago | (#16245917)

An international retail store chain. There are MANY of that kind.

The Internet, is BIGGER than not only wal-mart, but ALL retail store chains combined.

Wal-Mart, YOU have to adapt to the modern times. Modern times will not adapt to your ways.

Let them rot! (1)

schiefaw (552727) | about 8 years ago | (#16245935)

The two items that Apple is interested in selling, iPods and movies, are items that are worth making a special trip. If Walmart refuses to stock these items, their customers that are NOT willing to download movies off iTunes will just to to Target or Best Buy or one of the many other retailers who are more than willing to sell the title.

The problem is likely more related to nervous movie studios than any insecurity on Apple's part. Walmart can only refuse to stock so many items before people stop bothering to make the trip.

Independent movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16245943)

I wonder if Apple will open the iTunes Movie store up to independent producers? So I can get my new geek documentary [insearchofthevalley.com] into the store. It's very Mac orientated, featuring Woz, Andy Hertzfeld, Guy Kawasaki, and Jef Raskin. Check out the In Search of the Valley [stage4.co.uk] trailer.

I, for one, won't buy from Walmart (1)

Monkeys with Guns (1002565) | about 8 years ago | (#16246027)

I won't even go near the place. If they are taking profits from Apple, I won't help Apple get those profits. I won't be buying video from iTunes if they make this deal with Walmart. For the sake of the entire global economy, not just the US, I hope nobody else buys. I think the digital distribution model is a good idea in general, buy if I have to give money to Walmart, I won't bother with it.

Apple's tricked the devil before (1)

TobyRush (957946) | about 8 years ago | (#16246037)

If this is true, it does seem like Apple is giving in to The Man, but it reminds me a little bit of that time when Bill appeared on the big screen behind Jobs and they announced some big stock deal (IIRC, the deal would provide for Microsoft Office's continued Mac development). On that day, it seemed like it was the first step toward a Microsoft buyout of Apple, or something similarly ominous.

But later on it became apparent that Jobs wasn't overtly concerned about keeping that deal... Apple took the money and later came out with it's own web browser, and with iWork, Apple is on the way toward having a very nice alternative to Office. Yes, Office is still available for Mac, but I wonder how long that will last. IE for Mac is already history...

So now I hear that Steve could be in bed with Wal-Mart, and I can't help but wonder how he's figuring on turning this into a future Apple advantage, even at Wal-Mart's expense.

Danger! Image Collision! (2, Interesting)

ml10422 (448562) | about 8 years ago | (#16246153)

I dunno if this is such a good idea. We're talking a huge collision in image between Apple and Wal-Mart. Apple's image is hip, liberal, urban. Wal-Mart's is working-class, conservative, and rural.

Here's an idea . . . (2, Interesting)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 8 years ago | (#16246641)

Why not (in addition to coupons and such) have ipod movie kiosks in between the DVD racks? I mean, the real advantage in going to a brick and mortar store is instant gratification. Some people have iPods and dial-up (primarilly ripping music from CDs and not fussing with video) or slower broadband (a full movie can take a while to download). I can see the benefits of a store like Wal-Mart having a library of titles locally cached that can be rapidly transferred to the customer's iPod . . .

This is about access to sales (2, Interesting)

thinkzinc (668822) | about 8 years ago | (#16246719)

Apple is blocked from selling movies from major studios (minus Disney because Steve owns shares). Wal-Mart sells 40% of the movie industry's DVDs. When they shook the table, the industry sat on their hands. A deal between Apple and Wal-Mart is a deal BETWEEN devils. Believe me, if Apple had the leverage that Wal-Mart did, they would employ the same tactics. Look at DRM and the .99 cent song. If people don't like it they should continue to rent DVDs or buy them. This parnership marks a new way of doing business. Now that Apple can sell the movies online, the door is open to other online suppliers like AT&T, Comcast and Amazon.com. Microsoft will shuffle in the door late as usual.

Terrible (1, Flamebait)

macsox (236590) | about 8 years ago | (#16246819)

This is an awful, awful development. As a Mac zealot, video iPod owner and labor activist, I am in a complete bind.

Wal-Mart is a ridiculously vile company. Their monopsonistic business practices, abuse of employees and generally un-American attitude make them completely unworthy of any financial support. When BusinessWeek rails against a company [businessweek.com] , you know it's fucked up.

What happened to Apple's vaunted concern for the community. Ugh. U-G-H.
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