Walmart Launches DVD Download Service

Walmart is at it again. Setting the standards for video downloads they offer an exclusive deal you can’t get anywhere else. But you cant buy rabid flesh eating weasles either, so are they offering something unique, or something no one needs?

CNN says this about Walmart:

With the purchase of the “Superman Returns” physical DVD, Wal-Mart said customers can also choose from three video download format options — $1.97 for portable devices, $2.97 for PCs/laptops, and $3.97 for both portable players and PC/laptops.

The retailer said the physical/digital DVD bundle would offer customers the flexibility to watch the Warner Bros. movie on their TV, portable devices as well as their computers.

According to Wal-Mart, the Superman Returns physical DVD will come with a video download “feature sticker” on the cover. Customers will then have to log on to walmart.com/superman, enter the promotional code, and select their desired download format.

Am I the only one who sees this as kinda dumb?

I was impressed when Walmart announced the dvd burning kiosks in stores. I honestly think this is marketing genius. But to offer a download of a movie AFTER you just bought the actual DVD is kinda redundant. You have to offer one or the other. Or both, but make them an option instead of a package deal.

I see the benefit to downloading a movie for a fee. I don’t have to leave my home to get it, and I can burn it to a dvd and watch it in the same aforementioned home. But why would I want a downloaded version to bookend my store bought fancy cased dvd version? Everyone knows that cinematic masterpieces are best viewed on a 1.5 inch screen of your 30gig iPod Video.

It sounds like this downloadable version will not be able to be burned to dvd, which only serves Walmart’s desire to hold on to their 40% market share in dvd sales. They claim this bundle will make it possible for people to view the movie on TV as well as their portable devices and computers. But it sounds like this would only be possible since the bundle has the retail copy dvd that you can watch on your home theater.

If they offered it as a FREE download to tempt people into trying it then it may serve to illustrate how EASY it can be, so when they full out push their downloading service it will be welcomed. But they offer it at a fee. Any fee is going to be too high for people to really WANT to try downloading.