Wal-Mart abandons online movie downloads - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wal-Mart abandons online movie downloads

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Wal-Mart has closed its online movie download
store, abandoning a digital market it entered less than a year
earlier.
      A simple message on the video store's Web site says Wal-Mart
closed the operation December 21. The retreat for the world's
largest retailer, which accounts for about 40 percent of all DVD
sales, comes after the February launch of a service that initially
included 3,000 films and television episodes.
      In a statement, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Amy Collella says the
company abandoned the effort after a decision by Hewlett-Packard,
which provided the software running the site. Wal-Mart did not say
whether it would attempt to start the service again using a
different company's software.
      Officials with HP did not return a call for comment.
      Wal-Mart's entered a market already dominated by Apple's iTunes
online store, which became the third-largest overall music retailer
in the United States in units sold earlier this year. Full-length
films are available on iTunes, but consumer interest in movie
downloads has lagged behind music purchases.
      Internet downloading is expected to generate about $4 billion in
annual revenue in five years.
     
      (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
     

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