Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Wal-Mart Offers Up Downloadable Movies

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the guess-who-i-don't-shop-with dept.

Movies 217

An anonymous reader slipped us the link to a C|Net article on another downloadable movie offering, this time from retail giant Wal-mart. Stinging from their loss to Netflix in the online DVD rental business two years ago, they are coming out swinging with this service. They've made arrangements with all six major Hollywood studios, and (the article theorizes) will likely have highly competitive prices. With Apple's dominance of this particular market, there is still no guarantee whether Wal-mart will have any success with this program. The biggest problem, commentators note, is that there is no guarantee Wal-mart's service will draw customers into their stores: the issue that ultimately caused them to scuttle the DVD rental service. What do you think of a major retailer getting into movie download business? Will the company be able to outmaneuver Apple and Netflix the same way it has done with other retailers in the past?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Security (2, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902750)

If they can provide as good a security model for protecting identity and financial information as Apple, they've probably got a shot. With the record of other brick and mortar stores lately though, they've got an image that needs a little polish though.

Re:Security (1)

marto (110299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902804)

"If they can provide as good a security model for protecting identity and financial information as Apple..."

So long as we can download such classics as 'Weekend at Bernie's' (http://imdb.com/title/tt0098627/ [imdb.com] ) do we really care how secure it is :P

Re:Security (5, Interesting)

geeber (520231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902888)

I think the bigger problem is price. At least for myself, I want to treat a download as a rental - get the movie quickly, watch it once and forget about it. However, according to the article, in order to keep the studios happy they have to charge a similar price to what the movie costs in stores (almost $15 for Superman Returns, for example). So you pay way more than a rental, but you don't get the cool packaging and liner notes that you would get if you bought it in a store. What is the advantage here?

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903086)

Once you realize that the man always wins it will start to make sence.

Re:Security (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903242)

What's the advantage of most things they pump at us? I'm waiting till the studios figure out that they could pack boxsets on fewer discs using blueray/HD instead of just upsampling and wasting space. Nothing ruins the fun of watching a series than having to change DVDs every couple episodes (though maybe the getting up and changing the disc bit is how they force us to remain so uber physically active?)

Tom

Re:Security (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903512)

First, the initial bunch of TV shows that will appear on HD/BluRay will be shows that were filmed in HD. This means that the extra space will be used as intended. We won't see standard definition shows come out on HD/BR for a good while--the formats need to become entrenched enough for it to become worthwhile first. But in order to lure customers, they need to release HD material (chicken/egg). Also, I don't particularly have a problem with a season of a show spread out over four or five DVDs. I mean, if I'm watching TV for 20 hours straight, there's a good chance I'm gonna wanna get up and stretch out/piss/get some coffee/etc at some point...

Re:Security (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903862)

I dunno, for me the attraction is the space not the quality. I don't have super human vision and frankly i don't care for quality beyond DVD quality. If I want to look at detailed line art schematics or whatever, I'd use my 1280x1024 LCD to look at it. I don't need to buy a 3000 dollar HD tv for that. I still don't get why they cost so much.

On the flipside, provided that Blueray disks don't cost more than DVDs to press [???] boxsets would become cheaper as they would require fewer discs, less packaging, etc... So there is already incentive to offer them in that format.

Tom

Re:Security (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903880)

Dunno where you're looking, but I got a nice 32" LCD HDTV for a little over 600 bucks a year ago. Oh wait, I get it. You're one of those troll things, aren't you?

Re:Security (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903964)

is it a 1080p tv? etc...

Frankly, if I were to invest in HD, I'd make sure I'm set for the next decade [hopefully...]. No sense buying a 720p or whatever TV now when content for higher resolutions will be out soon enough.

And yes, 3000 was an exageration. Point is though, a decent set will run you a grand or two [Canadian not USD]. Meanwhile a higher resolution [though smaller] LCD will cost you half if not less as much.

Maybe I don't get LCD production but I thought it was the # of pixels that mattered, not their size. Why should a larger equal resolution display cost way more?

Tom

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17904072)

You clearly don't get LCD production, or any production for that matter. First, the price that they sell DVD box sets at is not for the cost of materials. It is for the cost of the content contained on the discs. Saying that slapping it all on one HD/BR disc will cause the cost to come down shows that you don't understand this. You're in the same camp that says "But Vista only costs the price of a DVD to make, and I can get a blank DVD for 15 cents, so the cost of Vista should be 15 cents." As for LCDs, making a larger screen with little to no defects is costly. It gets even costlier when you bump up the number of pixels on the screen. Again, I'll call it like I see it--you're simply a troll (and this isn't just based on your comments in this thread, either). Either that or you truly have no idea how the world around you works.

Re:Security (1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904138)

While yes a lot of the cost is the "license" fees [or whatever you want to call them]. Materials do cost money. Costs money to make, money to ship, money to stock, etc... Even the "writeoff" bin of most movie stores still sells movies for $5 or so. I seriously doubt that's to pay the studios cut. Aside from the cost factor, just having fewer physical discs in my movie collection would be nice.

Second, an LCD element is an LCD element. Cramming more into a tinier spot should, at least rationally, be harder than placing them into a larger area. It may have a higher materials cost, but I can't see how the failure rate goes up just because the pitch changes size. I think, like the way they price processors, they use the the smaller displays to help pay for factory downtime when they're not making the huge displays which they sell at obscene profits. In the end, many "lower cost" processors are made with the same design and process as the higher end parts, in fact, many of them are capable of running at the higher rates too (e.g. Intel Core 2 Duo processors).

To think that the industry is totally level and not making bank on the hysteria that is HD is foolish.

Re:Security (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904082)

On any decent HDTV, HD programming is *significantly* better than DVD. The difference is night and day.

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17904164)

they may be cheaper to make, but they would still lose money if no one bought them

Re:Security (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904070)

I've always thought the studios were braindead. I think most people would buy 2 or 3 CDs a week if they only cost $5. Instead, they make them cost around $15, so I'm lucky if I buy 1 a month. Most CDs aren't worth that much. It's even worse with downloads. Why would you pay $11 for the downloaded album, when you can get the CD for $15? iTunes don't really cost anything to distribute, so they should make it smart, and charge $.25 for a song. Absolutely nobody would pirate music because it just wouldn't be worth their time. People would be buying them like hotcakes, and the studios would be making even more money. But instead they inflate the price to the highest number they think anybody would pay, and make very few sales compared to the number of people who actually would like to have a copy of the song.

Re:Security (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904206)

Agreed.

Studios don't make the best use of technology. Look at DVDs for instance. You could cram roughly 6 audio CDs uncompressed on a DVD. Instead? They only sell 5.1 surround mixes with videos and all that. Which is cool I guess, but when you're shopping for a Johnny Cash box set, it'd be cool to get it all on one DVD instead of a box of CDs.

I agree on the cost too. Personally I rarely buy CDs. Mostly I get them from amazon when I decide that the album is actually worth my cash. But if they were reasonable I would buy more. I recently looked at getting the Scrubs series. ~$42 per box. That means for the series so far I'd have to pay ~$210 CAD, plus tax and shipping. That's a bit ridiculous and as a result I don't own any of them (why only own a few, when if you want to collect the series you really want them all). Now if they were say $15-20 per box I'd consider buying the set...

Tom

Re:Security (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903552)

Subscription music service seems to be frowned upon but yet subscription video seems to be the way to go. I pay monthly subscriptions fees to Rhapsody and Yahoo and think it is a great idea, specially with teens that change their music rotation almost daily. I already have just about everything I want in raw digital ripped from my cds but still use the those services on occasion.

Now that I think about it, I don't think anyone in my family has bought a cd or a download in at least 3 years. Probably the same with people using video subscriptions.

Re:Security (-1, Offtopic)

Deicidus (1060558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903586)

test comment!

Re:Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903138)

If they can provide as good a security model for protecting identity and financial information as Apple, they've probably got a shot.

You're kidding, right? When I was on Apple's mailing lists, the unsubscribe instructions told me to go to a particular web address. I went there, it asked me for my email address and nothing else. I put my email address in, and up came a listing of my full name and personal information (home address and phone number, IIRC). There was no one-time token in the unsubscribe address or anything like that, you could literally put in any subscriber's address and get their personal info.

Re:Security (0, Troll)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903256)

I put my email address in, and up came a listing of my full name and personal information
Of course it did. What did you expect? In these times of government and authorities spreading terrorist scares, terrorist hysteria and terrorist fear, do you still have illusions of privacy?

Not if it's like their stores. (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902758)

Will the company be able to outmaneuver Apple and Netflix the same way it has done with other retailers in the past?

Not if Wal-Mart takes the same attitude with online movie downloads as they do with their stores.

Wal-Mart has always been about one thing and one thing only: Dirt cheap stuff. They might as well make it their slogan: "Wal-Mart, where you get Dirt Cheap Stuff(TM)." You can see this attitude in their stores with cluttered aisles, severe lack of cashiers, poor treatment of employees, etc. People have unfortunately been willing to put with this this because, well, they want dirt cheap stuff.

The online movie download business isn't about dirt cheap, it's about customer service. The people who use it aren't poor; they're at least middle-incomers with computers and high-speed access to the Internet. If Wal-Mart tries to go dirt cheap on this service, they're going to get eaten alive in this space.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Interesting)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902806)

You are confusing poor service with a poor product. I won't argue that Walmart may have poor service, but that and the fact that the prices are low does not mean that the quality is necessarily poor as well. There is plenty of good quality stuff at Walmart

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Funny)

swissfondue (819240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902838)

I think Walmart's business model might be: "Get the pundits to buy the DRM infested lower quality download, then for a bit more cash, they can grab a DVD the next time they come into our store".
Makes sense, but I'm sure it is Windows-land only. Anyhoo, I'm on a Mac, and I live in Switzerland, so WTF do I care?

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903266)

Most stuff at Walmart is shite. At least the stuff they make bank on. The more expensive clothing, electronics, aren't exactly flying off the shelves.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904192)

Most of the stuff they sell at Walmart is the same stuff they are selling at every other department store. Sure they have their own brands, but most of the time for food, clothing, hygiene products, and other essentials, the walmart brand isn't any worse then what you get from the store brand of any other department store. Sure, the walmart $30 DVD player is pretty low quality, and sucks a lot ( I know, I have one) but what do you expect? When even the worst name brand one costs $60, you have to know it's going to suck. I don't see why people get so bent out of shape about walmart. The stuff that isn't walmart brand is the same stuff the other stores are selling. The stuff that is walmart brand is pretty much the same quality as all the other store brand stuff out there.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903952)

You are confusing poor service with a poor product. I won't argue that Walmart may have poor service, but that and the fact that the prices are low does not mean that the quality is necessarily poor as well. There is plenty of good quality stuff at Walmart

There is plenty of good quality stuff at Wal*Mart. If you buy the same prepackaged stuff you can get anywhere else, it's pretty good quality. However, if you buy stuff that you can only buy at Wal*Mart, it's poor quality.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Informative)

Bob3141592 (225638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904096)

It's not always the same stuff, even if the brand packaging is nearly identical. Read the ingredient list and you'll find differences. Wal-Mart makes it's suppliers cut corners to keep the price down or be locked out of the largest potential customer base. A few suppliers have refused to deal with Wal-Mart rather than to compromise their quality.

The presumption that the items sold in Wal-Mart are the same because they look the same is often incorrect. Check it out and see for yourself.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Informative)

ja-ja-morkmorkmork (890867) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904086)

the junk that is offered to walmart consumers is not the same as merchandise that manufacturers sell to other retailers, even with the same branding - see snapper & rubbermaid...
caveat emptor

Are you a parrot (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902840)

because if you aren't you sure do imitate one.

I get so tired about hearing how wal-mart supposedly abuses their employees. Look, I know people who work there and they don't have any qualms. Some are students working there (because 24hr operations offer flexibility) and others just because they don't look elsewhere.

While people love to rant about the items Wal-Mart sells how do these same people explain the grocery sections? Same brands as the big supermarkets at significantly lower prices. Heck I can find similar names in their department side of the operation as I can at the mall and save money.

Which brings me back to the online experience. Customer service isn't the real issue, its ease of use, selection, and then cost which will make or break their service. Other than end user billing issues the downloading side shouldn't be that big of a problem. I don't think that the majority of users out there have sufficient bandwidth for high quality downloads.

Why should Wal-Mart get into this? Easy, because it has such a low cost of operation. Pay for bandwidth, the servers, and that is a lot less than a B&M existance. They will still have lots of DVD in their stores but when people finally give up buying DVDs Wal-Mart probably hopes to be established enough to get that business.

I still don't see why people think Apple's service is that great. iTunes is good, but the series and movies are not the quality I would pay for, especially at the price some of the offerings are. A friend told me that the XBOX service is the best way to go but I doubt I will buy a 360 just for movie downloads.

So Wal-Mart gives us a new option. The more the merrier. The free market is a much better decider than other approaches. If Wal-Mart succeeds then they will do so because they deserve it. If they fail, that also is their fault as well.

Re:Are you a parrot (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903008)

But how Wal-Mart treats employees can and does affect the tax payer. Case in point, Wal Mart got into a lot of trouble over stating that many of their workers in Maryland would be better off on the state's(tax payer funded) insurance than on Wal-Marts(Walton funded) insurance. Another even more reckless point is that Wal-Mart stated that inclimate weather is no longer an excuse for being late for work. How many white collar employees that weren't in critical(and thus usually better compensated compared to their peers) roles would accept this? It also puts everyone else in danger. While obviously there are exceptions, I would wager that more often than not Wal Mart employees tend to drive less reliable cars that are less likely to have snow tires and they are less likely to have (good) car insurance. So what happens if they are rushing to work after dropping the kids off in bad weather and they wreck because they were trying to satisfy Wal Mart's unreasonable demands. They may cause loss of life to themselves or others, they are more likely to cause significant property damage that they cannot pay to recompensate, traffic may get snarled, the police may have to spend money getting them out of there. Everyone BUT Wal-Mart loses, and yet it is Wal-Marts policy. They would rather see this happen than give someone an hour or two of overtime while they are covering a shift for someone who cannot make it into work. That is how Wal-Mart's policies towards employees hurt everyone.

Re:Are you a parrot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903046)

". Case in point, Wal Mart got into a lot of trouble over stating that many of their workers in Maryland would be better off on the state's(tax payer funded) insurance than on Wal-Marts(Walton funded) insurance"

It is not Wal-Mart's fault if some of their employees have such low-value work and unremarkable skills that they end up qualifying for state insurance. If you want to complain to someone, complain to the state and have them tighten the requirements for receiving public insurance.

Re:Are you a parrot (0, Troll)

thefirelane (586885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903546)

Another even more reckless point is that Wal-Mart stated that inclimate weather is no longer an excuse for being late for work

Is it really though? Now-a-days weather should never make you late. It can make you not show up... but with weather forecasting, it isn't like you can't plan ahead anymore. If you have to drive slower, leave earlier.

Either it is too dangerous, and you don't show up, or it isn't, and you plan your trip accordingly.

Re:Are you a parrot (4, Insightful)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903600)

Do you have children? Have you ever tried to take them to day care and/or school an hour, or even half an hour, early?

Re:Are you a parrot (3, Insightful)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903798)

Most Wal-Mart store employees are not white collar employees, so comparing them to what white collar employees may or may not expect isn't a fair comparison. Most blue collar employees are expected to be at their jobs at a certain time or they get docked pay, that's way it is, if you don't like it, find a job you can make it to on time or better yourself and move into a white collar job, where the expectations MAY be less.

As for the weather making them late, maybe they should plan better. I have never had snow tires (even though I could easily afford them) on my car, and I'm not involved in accidents or late for work when it snows, because I plan ahead and leave earlier. BTW, most of the accidents I see in the snow are caused by idiot SUV drivers that think they are invincible in the snow, but forget that ultimately you have to stop that beast. I would be surprised if a majority of Wal-Mart employees are driving $30K+ SUVs.

Re:Are you a parrot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903882)

WalMart is a retail store just like any other. The wages and benefits are on par with every single retail store, convienence store, gas station, and fast food resturant in every corner of every town everywhere in the US and probably close to what most small companies that need nothing more then a few laborers pay as well (drywall, concrete, roofing, tree cutting, asphalt, fencing, etc).

Your story is nice but not WalMart specific. You are actually describing the situation of every single employee making under $9 or less/hr goes through anywhere. I'm sorry you do not realize this but retail positions are not compensated well. They are repetative completely unskilled positions. Scan items, take payment, give change. When the red "ready" light is on, dump complete contents of bag into the grease and pull it out when the buzzer goes off. Not everyone in the world can make $25 or more an hour.

   

Are you a Wal-Mart manager? (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903068)

I get so tired about hearing how wal-mart supposedly abuses their employees.

Then we agree, because so do I. Although my solution isn't to ignore it happening and rationalizing that it's okay because people obviously work there, it's for us to try to get them to stop.

While people love to rant about the items Wal-Mart sells how do these same people explain the grocery sections? Same brands as the big supermarkets at significantly lower prices. Heck I can find similar names in their department side of the operation as I can at the mall and save money.

The same way I explain their stores. If you don't mind digging through misplaced stuff to find what you're looking for, putting up with aisles that are three feet wide, standing in line for half an hour because there are only two cashiers, and don't have any questions about what you're shopping for because the people that work there ignore you and have no clue what the hell they're selling just so you can save a few cents on your Charmin, then Wal-Mart is a great place to shop.

I have too many incidents of unhappiness at Wal-Mart to recount them all here. The two that stick out in my mind were when I needed a few simple items one Saturday afternoon before Christmas several years ago. I walked in and saw two--two!--cashiers open, and people lined up too far to see. I would have been in the store at least an hour. I walked out, drove ten miles to the Target down the street, and haven't been to a Wal-Mart since. The other time was when I sprained my ankle and needed an ice pack and Ace bandage. Wal-Mart was the closest store to me (a mile or so away), so I drove down there, hobbled in, and hobbled back to the pharmacy section. A worker there who was stocking shelves literally watched me as I painfully limped up to her and said that my ankle was sprained, and I would appreciate it if she'd help me find the ice packs and Ace bandages. She pointed away and said, "I think it's two aisles over, maybe three," turned her back to me, and went back to putting the stuff on the shelves.

So yeah, you could say that I seriously doubt Wal-Mart will be able to do anything like run an online movie business competently, and even if the movies are, as I said, dirt cheap, I won't be using it.

Customer service isn't the real issue, its ease of use, selection, and then cost which will make or break their service.

Newsflash, ease of use and selection are part of customer service. Cost will be a factor, but I seriously down that the target market (no pun intended) for this service will be looking for movies that cost $2.95 to download instead of $2.99. They'll be looking for the stuff that Wal-Mart truly sucks at, stuff like, as you mentioned, ease of use and selection.

Why should Wal-Mart get into this? Easy, because it has such a low cost of operation. Pay for bandwidth, the servers, and that is a lot less than a B&M existance.

Well hell then, let's all get into the movie download business, since it's so cheap! You're forgetting the cost of developing and maintaining the software, marketing, and guaranteeing a certain level of service and uptime. These kinds of things are not cheap. If Wal-Mart takes their typical attitude of trying to do it on the cheap, you'll have software that is excruciatingly painful to use, lots of system down time due to back-end hardware and software issues, non-existent customer service and support for the mass of e-mail complaints that will pour in, and other such problems.

So Wal-Mart gives us a new option. The more the merrier. The free market is a much better decider than other approaches. If Wal-Mart succeeds then they will do so because they deserve it. If they fail, that also is their fault as well.

I don't propose anything different. I'm with you on this, let them compete in the marketplace! The article wasn't asking whether we think Wal-Mart should be allowed to try the online movie download business, it asked whether we think it will succeed. Based on my past experience with Wal-Mart, the answer is a dismal no.

I could be wrong, though. They may put some serious time and money into making this work and have a service that kicks ass, but I highly doubt it. I mean, come on. We're talking about Wal-Mart.

Re:Are you a Wal-Mart manager? (2)

Jediman1138 (680354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904156)

Alright.

I'm 18 and a senior in high school. I work at a hometown Wal-Mart in a small town of about 5,000 in western Indiana. It pays much better than anything else around here that will hire me. (45 cent raises yearly and the chance for paid vacation, as well as profit sharing bonuses, and the best part, no flipping burgers)

I've seen the documentary about Wal-Mart, and to my knowledge of the inner workings, it's all true. However, the way the stores function really comes down to the store management, and has much less to do with corporate policy.

I happen to work with a great management team, save for one department manager from Hell. Aside from her, my store manager and the two assistants are really great people and good at what they do. The cashier situation you described likely had more to do with people calling in rather than poor scheduling. We had a similar situation at our store in the Christmas '05 season. Inexcusable? Yes, but I can guarantee they tried calling people in, and I don't know what the situation is like at that store, but at mine, if there are no cashiers, management will work the registers themselves. All of them. Not just one or two.

As for your situation with the worthless employee near the pharmacy, that IS a problem I see at my store. See, I like nearly 100% of all the people I work with. I'm the youngest employee at our store, but we all get along and it's pretty much like a family, but I work with a lot of lazy people. Yeah, I can see how hard it would be to get motivated with such lackluster benefits. I mean, Hell, our discount is only 10%. This is something that management has trouble working on in every store. It is hard to motivate people to do better.

I work in the the Electronics department mostly and I know that if I ever have to direct someone to a product, I will personally walk there, show it to them, ask them if they have any questions, and be on my way. I do take pride in my work, at least when it comes to things I am knowledgeable about. This needs to be done more often, clearly, but how can you force people to be knowledgeable and courteous when you bascially have to hire anyone, as per corporate policy?

We do have training, but they are done with modified PowerPoints and are completely worthless. Everyone I know skips through them because they take so god damned long.

Yes, Wal-Mart has some service issues to get past, but don't blame one store for your experience with the company as a whole.

Re:Are you a parrot (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903110)

I get so tired about hearing how wal-mart supposedly abuses their employees. Look, I know people who work there and they don't have any qualms.

Hm, you don't have to go to walmartsucks.org to realize that not everyone agrees with you or the people you know; a simple web search will do. You'll come across articles like this one [commondreams.org] , but it's probably just all lies...

Re:Are you a parrot (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903432)

Yeah, I'm a parent. I don't shop at Walmart.

Why?
1) They're anti-american. Remember back about 15 years ago, when Sam Walton was still alive before the big take-over? Walmart bought american. Made in america was everywhere. Now, if you find something that was made in america, it's usually something someone dropped.

2) They do treat their employees abysmally. See Costco for how you treat employees right.

3) Groceries? I'll skip the green meat and wilted/unripe veggies thank you.

4) Their stores seem cluttered, dirty, and just unorganized.

5) And finally, selection, or rather the lack of it.

As for Sam's club, Costco usually has a better selection, better quality of product, and is almost always cheaper (on identical items, Sams was always more expensive, from CD/DVDs, books, to chips, beer, wine, and even TVs.

Now, to get back on topic - Walmart's online store will be a flop unless they give us a reason to go there. $15 downloads won't do it. $10 downloads won't do it. Sub $5 with no DRM might do it. Tying their service to purchases made at their stores may prop it up.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902884)

"The online movie download business isn't about dirt cheap, it's about customer service."
you haven't used Netflix then.

Throttling my movies because we watch them that night and return them the next morning. they make damned sure you can not get any more than 2 deliveries in a week, and when you get throttled you get 1 a week.

Try calling them ... Poor/nonexistent customer service
Most DVD's are damaged pretty badly because if the crappy mailing system. I recieve on average 2-3 cracked DVD's a month.

I still use them because they are better than Blockbuster, but nobody in their right mind thinks any of the online movie rental businesses are about customer service.

throttling (2, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903754)

i've been on netflix, on and off, for years. never once have they throttled me. i do 4-at-once, get 4 on monday, send them back tuesday, they arrive by thursday, they send more out friday -- if i'm lucky and they come in 1 day (they sometimes to), I can in theory get 4 more saturday. anyway, i've never noticed any throttling, but I hear a lot of people claim it. Maybe your p.o. is what sucks.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903946)

Most DVD's are damaged pretty badly because if the crappy mailing system. I recieve on average 2-3 cracked DVD's a month.

Odd. I've been with Netflix for over a year, get 2 movies per week, and I've only had 1 cracked one.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904272)

I think your experience might be unusual. When I had unlimited plan, I went through their movies like crazy and never noticed any throttling. Shipment came a day late 3-4 times, but a day early 2-3 times.

I do have a crappy DVD player so I often had to wash the discs a bit to get them to play, but never felt the slightest bit riptoff. Calculated it once and was paying around $3.50 per film -- less than a "real" rental (anyone been in a Blockbuster recently?) and selection at least 50 times as good.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902920)

> The online movie download business isn't about dirt cheap, it's about customer service.

Don't be a dweeb. I want cheap downloads. I don't care about service, nor about the condition of the stores. I'm going to buy movies online from the cheapest supplier because what you'll be downloading will be *exactly* the same, no matter where you get it. I'm paying for it via a credit card so I don't care if the company goes bust or is dodgy - it's not my money on the line.

Can you provide me with a single credible reason for ever going with a company other than the cheapest one for online movie downloads?

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903070)

Multiplatform compatibility, different codecs, faster downloads, better interface (à la last.fm, for example)

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903198)

Hmm. I was thinking more about downloading a DVD image, burning it and watching it. Like a torrent site, only legal and with a charge (but a charge that reflects the fact that I'm going to have to download and burn it before I can watch it, and therefore cheaper than normal).

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903288)

Thy could price to make the same profit per unit they make on a physical copy, and make a lot more money on higher volumes.

I have no idea what the margins are but I doubt they make more than a few dollars a DVD sold, given retail markups, manufacturing and distribution costs etc.

Of course, where I live DVDs cost approximately $2.50 anyway......

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903310)

Apparently margins in the US are something like 2%, but that's probably an average.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903604)

I'd be happy with H.264/AC3 mkvs with a few subs thrown in. I watch movies on my PC anyway. BitTorrent technology would be the obvious choice, if only it were not intrinsically unsuitable for streaming. WRT to the price point, I think I'd pay up to 2$ for a movie, 10$ for an anime series. I realize I'm being cheap but, given decent adoption, distribution costs approach 0 in this scenario. That, and the distributors must understand they are competing with *free*.
However, such scenario would never see the light of day for the simple reason that dedicated teams would pop out and buy movies and redistribute them for free (or ultra cheap). I can pay 6$ a month for unlimited FTP access to a huge pirate anime repository. I've got the bandwidth, and many series are not being distributed officially and in japanese w/subs anytime soon in Europe. The reason why this happens is that we're talking about un-DRM'ed files here: without serious DRM, the kind of scenario I'm talking about would fail quickly.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903190)

I want cheap downloads.

You're not like most people, then. Witness the iPod. Is it the cheapest mp3 player on the market? No. Is it the best? Not really. What it is, though, is easy to use and customer-focused.

what you'll be downloading will be *exactly* the same, no matter where you get it.

Riiiiight. That's why diffs of movies you download from different online providers will all be exactly the same, right?

There are lots of things that are different. The DRM. The player. The quality of the video and audio transcoding. The reliability of the service. The ease of finding what you're looking for. The number of movies they have. The ability to play on hardware you have. The ability of the service to answer questions you might have. The amount of hassle you tolerate for using a service (do they sell your e-mail address to spammers? etc.). Countless other things that make up the end-user experience for using a service.

I won't judge you if your only criterion for evaluating a service to use is cost. If you want to use a crappy service because it's cheap, be my guest. Like I said, though, you're in a small minority when it comes to services like this.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903762)

"Not really. What it is, though, is easy to use and customer-focused."

Easy to use? The idiots at Apple forgot the most basic of user controls: the on-off switch. This is Apple, who could never get basic user controls right. Remember when they had a tiny pinhole to eject disks while their PC competitors had an eject button?

The hassle with moving files from your computer to an iPod and then to another computer is not "ease of use", and the limited number of file formats played (compared to, let's say, the Creative Zen Vision:M) is not "customer focused".

So, what really sets the iPod apart? It's the ad campaign. That's all there is.

They treat their employees well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17902952)

"severe lack of cashiers, poor treatment of employees, etc"

Wal-Mart is above average when compared to other chains for availability of cashiers and someone on the stock floor. As for the employees, they are overall very satisfied. There is, however, a union PR campaign (funded with stolen money, I might add) that levels false claims of employee disastisfaction: all of out sour grapes that Wal-Mart gives its employees a choice of whether or not to give money to a union.


The union thug PR campaign has taken advantage of the fact that Wal-Mart has a really huge number of employees, which makes tiny percentage of bad employee experience stories actually quite large in the actual numbers of employees.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (2, Informative)

bouis (198138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903102)

People like Wal-Mart, not only because of the convenience and the fair and consistent prices, but because they have no-hassle return policy. It might not seem like much to you, today, but try taking something back to a store 20 or 30 years ago-- much less after you've opened it.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (4, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903372)

$19.88 download of Windows only crippled move. Not a deal. No extras, worse quality. Sounds like the Amazon movie thing. They appear to be trying to protect DVD margins when they should be trying to do what Wal Mart does best. Revolutionize the distribution chain to gain advantage. 1. DVD's take up a lot of floor space in stores. $$$ 2. Holding DVD inventory. $$$ 3. Physical Security. $$$ Use online distribution to cut costs, allow real physical copies that can be used in standard DVD players, and create a way people can buy DVD's in store (burning and cover art printing kiosks). Give people more for less, otherwise it will fail.

Re:Not if it's like their stores. (1)

cain (14472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903516)

Wal-Mart has always been about one thing and one thing only: Dirt cheap stuff. They might as well make it their slogan: "Wal-Mart, where you get Dirt Cheap Stuff(TM)."

This is not really true. They work hard to make you believe that they have the lowest prices on everything, but they really only have the lowest prices on things that people know the price of. People see the low prices on these "loss leader" items and, wrongly, assume that everything must be priced low.

From public management magazine [icma.org] :

"How does the number-one retailer maintain an image of low prices? First, by actually making sure its prices are lower than its competitors, at least on key items. These items are called "price-sensitive" items in the industry, and it is commonly believed that the average consumer knows the "going price" of fewer than 100 items. These tend to be commodities that are purchased frequently."

and from the same article:

"Price-sensitive merchandise is displayed in prominent places such as the kiosk at the entrance to the store, as well as on end caps, in dump bins, and in gondolas down the main aisles. Consequently, when Wal-Mart customers see the items of which they know the price, the ones always priced lower in Wal-Mart, they start assuming that everything else is also priced lower than at competing stores. This assumption is simply not true."

And, not to give you information overload or anything, but here is quote from the book 'How Wal-Mart Is Destroying America (and the World)':

"Wal-Mart got by with the slogan "Always the Lowest Price. Always" for years, until the National Advertising Review Board, which is funded by the Better Business Bureau, investigated the claim that Wal-Mart always has the low(est) price. The Board found that this just was not and is not true, and promptly ordered our pals in Bentonville to stop saying it. Wal-Mart then had to change its motto to something that barely skipped around the law-like "Always Low Prices. Always"-so near the original slogan that the public in general still perceived that Wal-Mart had the lowest prices."

FWIW.

Whatever.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903758)

People have unfortunately been willing to put with this this because, well, they want dirt cheap stuff

I buy very decent athletic shoes from them that's a quarter of what I'd pay at a sports store. The only thing I'm not getting is an endorsement by a celebrity athlete that's paid hundreds of millions of dollars to wear said shoes, which the company then just passes along to the consumer(me). No thank you, I don't give a shit. I vote with my money and Walmart has some values there.

Apple vs Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Zouden (232738) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902774)

With Apple's dominance of this particular market, there is still no guarantee whether Wal-mart will have any success with this program.
I'm not so sure of Apple's dominance. I'd like to see some statistics about this market, but I got the impression that the Xbox 360 HD Download service is very popular- possibly more than iTunes?
This'll certainly start to change when the AppleTV comes out, though.

Re:Apple vs Microsoft (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903398)

I'm not so sure of Apple's dominance. I'd like to see some statistics about this market, but I got the impression that the Xbox 360 HD Download service is very popular- possibly more than iTunes?
 
So, never have seen any statistics, how can you possible back up your claim? What the hell is your impression based on, school yard talk?

Link (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902778)

Am I the only one who lands on this article "Who really won during the Super Bowl?"? Is the link wrong?

Re:Link (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902942)

No you're not the only one. I guess it's true that almost nobody reads the article on Slashdot. I loved hitting an article about the SuperBowl and then switching back to see 15 comments starting with "According to TFA..." Riiiight.

Re:Link (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902972)

You're exactly right... it's interesting how many people there are above you (and a lot below you probably too) that didn't even bother to look at the actual content.

Re:Link (1, Redundant)

ZeusAndHades (768527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903120)

The REAL Link [com.com]

Re:Link (3, Informative)

grimwell (141031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903386)

And for an added bonus the link to Wal-Mart's video store within the story is broken.

Article link [com.com]

Wal-Mart Video Store [walmart.com] note: the site renders horribly in Mozilla & Firefox... at least for me.

corrected link (5, Informative)

swissfondue (819240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902780)

The article can be found here [com.com]

Walmart will also be selling TV series. They have more studios signed up than Apple, mainly due, I think, to Walmart's caving in to the Studios demands (same pricing as DVDs).

Re:corrected link (1)

suyashs (645036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902824)

More like bullying tactics and threats to the studios warning them not to sign up with Apple for it's movie downloading service.

Re:corrected link (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903878)

More like bullying tactics and threats to the studios warning them not to sign up with Apple for it's movie downloading service.
No, I think it's really the caving in. Imagine that you work for one of the studios. You know that DVD-encryption is more or less useless. You have a choice of paying the cost to produce DVDs and ship them to the retailer who will manage to get them to your customers. Or, you can let your customer download them themselves from the retailer's web site and you still get the same revenue from them. Which would you choose?


Wal-Mart is not doing us a service by pricing the downloads the same as the physical DVD. They are actually creating a reason for the studios to avoid iTunes and services like it because they are saying "Look here! You can continue to pillage your customers if you use our service!" I would recommend avoiding Wal-Mart's service until the price comes down significantly. At any rate, the service doesn't work with Firefox, so I won't be using it anytime soon.

Thanks (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903014)

And although in my scan of the article I did not see what tech they are using but I can just about guarantee it will by from your friends at MSFT.
So which will it be? PlaysSometimes or Zune or Real's crummy kit (do they still have kit?).

99/9% certain it will not play on a Mac OR an iPod.

Too bad Apple can't leverage Fairplay to some degree here... then again it would be feeding competition.

Re:Thanks (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903808)

99/9% certain it will not play on a Mac OR an iPod.
It seems you're very uncertain. 99 / 9 % = 11 %.

Re:corrected link (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903048)

mainly due, I think, to Walmart's caving in to the Studios demands (same pricing as DVDs).

I read an article (link [yahoo.com] ) that seemed to indicate the opposite:

Apple's pricing has also caused scuffles between studios and major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target Corp. The retailers don't want studios to sell digital copies of films cheaper than the wholesale price of physical DVDs.

If you think about it, this makes sense. Everything being equal, Wal-Mart would much rather you come into its store and walk out with a physical DVD--and, they hope, a couple of armfuls of other merchandise--than make a few clicks of your mouse from your chair at home and buy only the video.

At the same time, I think they understand that the prices won't stay equal forever. While they wait, they get to establish themselves as leaders in the market for downloadable content.

wrong link? (-1, Redundant)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902786)

The story is here [com.com]

Rent 10 (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902812)

Get some trivially cheap item in the store free. Or get points good for money off stuff. Or....

Kroger sold gas with 3cents off thinking people would enter the store. Bwa Ha Ha Ha...Now they don't give us poor scum anything off.

If virtual DVD cost = physical DVD cost... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17902848)

... why the !&^!%# would anybody buy the virtual DVD?? This assumes people can't rip the physical object themselves - they're betting on people who pony up for fast internet links but don't use Google?? Oh, and don't own a DVD player.

Re:If virtual DVD cost = physical DVD cost... (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903694)

It's freezing outside, and you don't want to burn $2 of gas and spend an hour of your time (you earn, say... $30/hr) running out to a store.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me, but only if I have the option of burning the DVD. If it's streamed, It should be a lot cheaper.

Besides, I know some people like the crap that comes with a CD or DVD, but I can almost always do without it. It just makes the things take up that much more space when I move. Unless it's an artist that I'm really, really into; I'm not interested in collecting album art and stuff.

Re:If virtual DVD cost = physical DVD cost... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903806)

> It's freezing outside, and you don't want to burn $2 of gas
> and spend an hour of your time (you earn, say... $30/hr)
> running out to a store.

Uhh... Amazon.com? Purchase more than $25 and avoid the
shipping. Granted, there will be times when I just have
to have a particular movie/CD at that particular instant
in time to make download a possibility. Or, given that I
have DSL, I have to do it the day BEFORE I need it.

Given the crap selection in stores, who buys the bloody
things off-line?

> Seems like a pretty good deal to me, but only if I have
> the option of burning the DVD. If it's streamed, It
> should be a lot cheaper.

Agreed.

WalMart vs. Netflix (5, Insightful)

KaOsx42 (1024539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902862)

I don't think that Walmart has a chance - Netflix and Blockbuster have the long tail. If WalMart is banking on only the 'major studios' they're missing the point - selection, selection, selection.

Re:WalMart vs. Netflix (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904178)

No the problem is that will be offering the same package as everyone else. Overpriced downloads (that cost as much or even more than the much higher quality content you could just get on the DVD), DRM to keep you from transferring content to multiple computers or burning it to DVD, and piss-poor selection. As if that wasn't enough, you can add to that their "family friendly" policies of not carrying NC-17/unrated movies and carrying edited versions of some content.

In other words, why should anyone give a rat's ass about this "new" service?

-Eric

why? (0, Redundant)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902866)

everyone who gets into this space has to deal with "competitors" who offers a better product at the best price(free). That isn't really a position I would think a business would want to be in.

Re:why? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903222)

Do you realize that your statement applies to everything WalMart sells? If someone is willing to break the law, there's nothing in their store they can't have. This will be no different.

But lets take some things with the same possible distribution methods:

Music - Still sells. (CD, MP3, iTunes)
Video - Still sells. (DVD, iTunes)
Games - Still sells. (Many formats)

You can download all of these things from "competitors" for "free", and yet, people still pay money for them. Why? Maybe because there's still plenty of people that don't believe it's okay to break the law just because they can't tell who's getting hurt when they do.

history has taught us (3, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902962)

It will succeed, just like Wal-Mart's DVDs-by-mail rental service.

The service doesn't have to draw customers (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#17902968)

There are already so many customers going to wal-mart, that even if the service is only used by a small fraction of their customers, it would still be a massive amount of people. That's the magic of wal-mart... super high volume!

e48! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903054)

of business and was SO THERE ARE PEOPLE t4ey are* Come on fucking surprise, large - keep your

Success is not the issue (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903252)

As usual with large chains, it doesn't matter if some product is successful. What matters is whether they consider the share they got in the market as meaningful, and whether they consider the market meaningful. It can be a loss maker, even for years to come, if they consider it a "future market" they will keep it rolling. And since it's "content via internet", it's by that very nature already something pretty much every beancounter considers a future market.

Personally I'd say let's wait and see what DRM they include and whether it's breakable. If it is, it is a market. If it's not, it's not. Simple as that.

Re:Success is not the issue (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903436)

It's Windows Media DRM v10 ... so, like all other Windows DRM attempts, I predict this will fail miserably.

...and (3, Insightful)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903262)

Poor people shop at Wal Mart because they have to. The stores suck, the employees suck, everything sucks about Wal Mart.

One thing they are missing is that very few basic broadband packages offer enough download size per month to allow stuff like this to take off. Most ISP's offer 5GB-10GB a month for their basic packages, which isn't nearly enough for Wal Mart to make money off of anything.

Wal Marters will try this for a month, then get utterly shafted on usage fees then forget about it. The rest of us already have other venues to get movies.

Wal Mart would have to price this at $1.99 to get any movement, they won't price it at that level; any level they do price it at will suck and no one will care.

Re:...and (2, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904032)

Where are you that you have volume limits on your broadband? I've downloaded and uploaded hundreds of gigabytes of information (legally) and nobody from my ISP has complained.

Re:...and (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904114)

I was going to reply the same, but then I noticed he said 'basic packages'. I'm betting he means the $15/mo AT&T DSL and such, I'm sure. Any reasonable unlimited cable/dsl plan is going to cost $30-$50.

Those people are NOT into the internet enough to download movies anyhow. I really don't think WalMart needs to worry about them.

Wal-Mart you say? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17903296)

So, how did their music download business? Have they made a dent in iTunes yet? Or a scratch, perhaps?

Wal*Mart doesn't have the right competencies (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903302)

Wal*Mart is unlikely to make this work, because (whatever you think of them) their excellences are not in innovative use of technology. What they are good at is business deals that look good to their suppliers but turn out to benefit Wal*Mart in the long run... and in ratcheting down their suppliers' prices.

How is Wal*Mart going to make their downloadable movies so much cheaper than the competition that they'll be able to drive the competition out of business? Force their IT department to outsource their movie download servers overseas?

And on the Internet everything is nearby. When a brick-and-mortar Wal*Mart succeeds in killing off the local small-town businesses, the local residents are faced with the choice of shopping at the local Wal*Mart or driving a long distance. On the Internet, even supposing that (say) Wal*Mart drives Amazon UnBox out of business, you're not going to have to drive ten miles to shop at the iTunes store.

The only way I can see Wal*Mart winning is if they use their famous muscle to pressure the MPAA into allowing their products to being delivered without DRM, and with the capability of burning a DVD. At the moment, the Wal*Mart video download website seems to be showing me such badly scrambled pages that I can't read how it works, but I don't think that's the way it works now.

Re:Wal*Mart doesn't have the right competencies (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903778)

Thankfully, not all companies are suckered into brand liquidation/diffusion/whateveyouwanttocallit. Some actually think about a) their customers and b) the long-term impact of making such deals with Wal*Mart.

See http://slashdot.org/articles/06/03/28/2235246.shtm l [slashdot.org]

Wal*Mart is very good that Wal*Mart does well in a venture. If a product does not sell, well, at least they didn't pay much for it and can offload overstock goods to job lot/dollar type stores. If it does sell, the brand in question may be perceived as a crappy brand thanks to Wal*Mart-specific models which in some cases are built to be cheap and barely functional enough to meet warranty for merchantability guidelines, with no regard to offering quality product for the customer and even less regard to making sure that brand will still be able to afford to offer you product three or five years from now.

Sadly, too many companies are lured by immediate, short-term profits and are not interested in larger, but long-term growth. :(

Who really won during the Super Bowl? (0, Redundant)

ruthzine (734101) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903526)

Who really won during the Super Bowl? What does that have to do with walmart?

Business Strategy (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903596)

Note how the business strategy is all about exclusive deals, about locking others out of content.

This makes business sense, but the problem here is that unlike in the old days when you shipped content to a news stand or bookstore, it is possible to scale a content delivery business indefinitely. Not cheap, but if the consumer is paying the fare for bandwidth, it is feasible.

The problem I see here is that it creates a situation ripe for a natural monopoly to emerge. If you get exclusives with enough studios, you cripple your competition. I'd love to download movies to iTunes, but so far they've only been able to sign up Disney. So it's nearly useless to me.

This can create a situation where a magnate like Rupert Murdoch can gain incontestable control over a significant slice of mainstream culture. That is bad. The organization controlling distribution will eventually control the point of view people are allowed to see in movies and other media.

This is why we need copyright term limitation. Either we take steps to restrict the freedoms of business to make deals like this, OR we strengthen the commons by expanding the public domain OR we accept control by a single entity over the bulk of information we have available.

Re:Business Strategy (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904180)

Note how the business strategy is all about exclusive deals, about locking others out of content.

Agree. It's called "intellectual property rights" in the case of content producers BTW, "state franchise" in the case of telcos, "tarrifs" in the case of the farming/steel/auto industries. In economics all of this is called "rent-seeking". I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you're talking about other businesses not engaging in any of the above. I thus propose the term "secondary rent-seeking" for this type of behavior, i.e. other companies trying to ride onto the state-enforced advantages other companies have already.

The problem I see here is that it creates a situation ripe for a natural monopoly to emerge. If you get exclusives with enough studios, you cripple your competition. I'd love to download movies to iTunes, but so far they've only been able to sign up Disney. So it's nearly useless to me.

I see you weren't kidding in your sig, but I hope you realize the irony of the fact that situation that you say is ripe for this "natural monoploy" you speak of is only made possible by the pre-existing coercive monopoly.

This is why we need copyright term limitation.

Why not get rid of it altogether?

Either we take steps to restrict the freedoms of business to make deals like this, OR we strengthen the commons by expanding the public domain OR we accept control by a single entity over the bulk of information we have available.

I wonder which of these three options you're plumping for. I'm for option 2 all the way.

Apple dominance? (2, Insightful)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903696)

With Apple's dominance of this particular market, there is still no guarantee whether Wal-mart will have any success with this program.

Apple dominance? While it's a fair bet that they sell a lot more movies through iTMS than any other vendors sell through through similar services, this industry is still extremely young - too young to declare a dominant vendor so early in the game. Let's table this and take up the discussion again in two years, when the positions of Netflix, Apple, Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, Target, and other future players will be more clear.

Now if you'll excuse me I have some torrent downloads to check on.

The superbowl (0, Redundant)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903732)

Am I the only person who noticed that the link goes to an article about "who really won the superbowl"?

Correct article. [com.com]

People in Stores (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903744)

The comment was that the older service didnt' get people into the stores.

My thought is they get enough people in the stores.. but they need to get more people to their web site, to use their various e-services. For example, you can upload digital photos to their site and they will print them and mail them to you.

It seems that offering downloadable movies will appeal to the "net" segment of the population who would be much more into sshopping on their web site, etc.

If they offer affordable movies I would certainly give them a shot and it would make me more loyal to the brand.

It Might be worth it. (2, Insightful)

Nathgar (995959) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903836)

Four things have to happen for me to even try it.
The price is right for my preceived value of the show/series/movie.
I can play it on my DVD player and computer.
I can watch it any number of times.
It's offered in widescreen format.

Bonus: If they offer extras with the download like outtakes/deleted scenes and such from the movie.

Good Idea (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903884)

1) Sell downloadable DVD movies at a loss to American consumers while competing against Apple the 800lbs Gorilla.
2) ...
3) Profit!

M

Summary of comments (4, Funny)

amyhughes (569088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17903926)

1) blah blah DRM blah blah
2) blah blah I'm smarter than wal*mart blah blah
3) blah blah wal*mart sucks blah blah
4) blah blah the link is wrong blah blah

You're welcome.

Why not, they do alright w/ music downloads (1)

AmbianceForce (995764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904046)

This isn't something too new for WalMart. They have been doing music downloads for almost as long as iTunes has been around, and WM sells tracks cheaper than Apple. Advantage? Maybe, maybe not. One thing's for sure, for me to spend an hour waiting for a large download (or overnight for an HD movie), then the price better be significantly lower than buying a physical DVD in the store. I can drive to WalMart and be back with the disk in 30 min. Not only that, but I don't buy movies brand new, I get previously viewed DVDs from the rental store. Buy it for half price and it's guaranteed against scratches and defects (free replacment or money back). Bottom line for me, unless it hits a price-point on par with a previously viewed, it isn't worth the time to download.

bad link to c/net (1)

gemtech (645045) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904134)

that is all I have to say.

System Requirementrs (2, Informative)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17904214)

What are the minimum system requirements to download a movie or TV episode?
Switching to Konquerer I was able to browse a coherent page layout and locate these system requirements:

Wal-Mart Video Download Manager
- Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Vista (32 bit only no Macintosh or Linux).
- 256MB of RAM or higher
- 4 GB of hard disk space
- A sound card
- Speakers or headphones (if you want to play a movie or TV episode on your PC)
- An internet connection (broadband recommended)
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
- Microsoft Windows Media® Player version 10 or higher (version 10 is preferred for syncing to portable devices)
- .NET 2.0 or higher
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?