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Apple in Talks with Wal-Mart over Movies 176

Alex, 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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Apple in Talks with Wal-Mart over Movies

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  • that's what Apple would be doing... Grow some balls Steve...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by smidget2k4 ( 847334 )
      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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ronanbear ( 924575 )
        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.

      • Then don't buy your iTMS vouchers in Wal-mart, that's the only way that they're making money through this.

        Also, I hope the amount they are getting is less than 5c for every dollar of vouchers sold. Otherwise I'm just going to have to go find an ASDA to petrol bomb.

      • Yeah because Wal-Mart does things no other company you patron doesn't already do.
    • by paranode ( 671698 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:43AM (#16244931)
      After all he's in deep up to his iBalls with this one.
    • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by purpledinoz ( 573045 )
      Let's be real here. Apple likes to make money. If this deal is good for Apple, then good for them.
    • Hardly appropriate (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thinkzinc ( 668822 )
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by coolgeek ( 140561 )
        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 a
  • Jump in logic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:30AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Amouth ( 879122 )
      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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.
      • Or, alternately, if Walmart thinks it can make money by doing so, I'm sure they can exert pressure on studios to go along with Apple.
    • 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?
    • 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

    • 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 o
  • by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:30AM (#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"
    • by DeadChobi ( 740395 ) <> on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:34AM (#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.
      • 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.
        • 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.

          • 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 I

            • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
              No, you're just less demanding when it comes to video quality.

                      It's only possible if you are willing to tolerate certain
              inevitable engineering tradeoffs. If I'm going to PAY for
              something I am certainly not going to tolerate anything less
              than crystal clarity 720x480 on a 60" screeen.
              • If I'm going to PAY for
                something I am certainly not going to tolerate anything less
                than crystal clarity 720x480 on a 60" screeen.

                The way I see it, I can either PAY Comcast comtastic rates (what's that sucking sound?) to watch a few shows and movies I like in (OOoooo!) 480p, or I can PAY Apple less money to watch the same shows and movies in 480p at more acceptable, ala carte rates.

                I'm pretty sure Joe Average is thinking the same thing. Ask your average man on the street what the difference is between 480i a

        • by EatHam ( 597465 )
          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".
          • 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.
        • The only thing that holds consumers back on making that sort of purchase is price.

          Uhh... I don't know where you live, but around here I don't have a reliable 10Mbps/s stream to download a DVD quality movie and watch it while it downloads. If I have to wait 2+ hours for the damn thing to download it isn't much of an "impule purchase" is it? I could drive to the blockbuster and be back in 1/8 that time.

          Before the retail channel will be a success, the national infrastructure has to be in place. And all downl

        • No matter what studios think, a digital download does not have as much intrinsic value as a packaged Disc.

          I'm sure the studios realise this, the same way they realise DVDs look more "filmey" if you put them in a box the same height as a VHS tape, and the same way they realise someone won't pay twice as much for two films on a single disc. It's not about the bitrate, or how much will fit into a given physical space, it's about psychology.

      • 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???
      • by mgblst ( 80109 )
        Yeah, but then you have to get out of bed, put on some pants,.... need I go on?
    • 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. has me somewhat salvating. Prices are still decent but from the file specifications that quality might be much higher.
  • by dougman ( 908 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:34AM (#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.
  • Sweet deal! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:36AM (#16244837) Homepage Journal
    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!
    • You are entitled to those profits if you're a mega corporation with huge influence in every market that your store deals in. Movie studios (and practically everyone else) would go a long way to cater to WalMart. If WalMart walks, the studios would lose a lot of money - perhaps more than they would gain with iTunes revenues.
  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:37AM (#16244861) Homepage
    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.
    • by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:47AM (#16244997) Homepage Journal
      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.

      • 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 wit
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jonwil ( 467024 )
          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.
        • 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 r

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by King_TJ ( 85913 )
            But see, your explanation just goes to show that Wal-Mart has no need to offer their employees more. Apparently, they're functioning just fine by using employment of apathetic or depressed people -- groups who don't seem to be good enough workers for anyone else to hire.

            When you look at it that way, it seems like a bad idea to complain that they should pay their workers more! Why reward apathy? People always have "other choices", really. They just don't have other choices they're willing to put forth th
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by steveo777 ( 183629 )
              And you've hit the nail on the head. And I believe it explains part of the undeniable sense of depair I feel whenever I have to walk into a Wal-Mart. Especially the 'ghetto' Wal-Marts that have fallen into K-Mart levels of disrepair.
        • Lots of people around big cities want to work for Wal-Mart. Earlier this year Wal-Mart opened a new store in suburban Chicago and had 25,000 applications for 325 positions []. Last year they had 11,000 applications for about the same number of jobs in Oakland, California.
      • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
        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 s
        • 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 fin
          • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
            I remember Rubbermaid. Basically sold plastic slugs, vacuum formed in various shapes and were way overpriced.
            I can understand the bias against Wal-Mart in stories like that but I'm sure there is another side as I've seen in local economies more recently in the dot com boom.

            How much of that is Rubbermaids arrogance and sticking to a high price to keep inflated salaries?
            If Vendor B can provide the same garbage can from the same plastic supplier and for 60% less, is it really the fault of Wal-Mart?

            I've witnes
  • by tbone1 ( 309237 )
    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

  • Freaking Christ. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JKConsult ( 598845 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:39AM (#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.
  • Is this premature? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dschuetz ( 10924 ) <david@d a s> on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:46AM (#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.
    • by mgblst ( 80109 )
      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.
    • 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


      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 lo
      • 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
      • by dschuetz ( 10924 )
        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
        • I think I get your point as well but what Wal-Mart is playing on in this field is putting studios against one another and playing their rivalities.

          Studios aren't likely to all move to Itunes in one swift movement, they will do so gradually like the Networks did for TV shows.
          Where Wal-Mart has leverage is that they can scare the Studios and slow down the adoption, or even kill itunes movies in its infancy.

          WalMart would never cut itself from $6.8bn of DVD sales just because they are angry. However, just like
  • cringley (Score:3, Interesting)

    by raffe ( 28595 ) * on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:49AM (#16245019) Journal
    Just as the good old cringley [] 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 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Foolicious ( 895952 )

    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

    • 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 hav
    • by TRRosen ( 720617 )
      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.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      the word 'loss' gets bandied about to mean different things.
      1)Actually selling it cheaper then you bought it for
      2)Selling it cheaper then it cost to put on the shelve(that wholesale + cost to stock)
      3)Selling it for less then they could be, Meaning thenprice point for selling it is 19.99, you sell it for 12.99. even though they may pay 5 dollars for it.

    • by flooey ( 695860 )
      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?

      Wholesale cost of a new release DVD to a retailer like Wal-Mart is typically about $17.95 []. So yes, they're paying more than $12.99 per movie, that's what a loss leader is. The idea is that by s
  • by d0n quix0te ( 304783 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @10:52AM (#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 ...

    • 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 [])
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by GweeDo ( 127172 )
      But Walmart is a monopsony....

      That just sounds extra scary...
  • by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @11:02AM (#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.
  • 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
  • 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 de

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @11:36AM (#16245917) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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.
  • by Orange Crush ( 934731 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @12:13PM (#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 . . .
  • 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 bus
  • Terrible (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by macsox ( 236590 )
    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 [], you know it's fucked up.

    What happened to Apple's vaunted concern for the community. Ugh. U-G-H.
  • Censorship (Score:2, Interesting)

    by boristdog ( 133725 )
    Will the movies be the "Wal-Mart Censored" version?

    A friend bought a copy of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" at Wal-Mart.
    Everything about the abortion was missing from the film.

    I've heard other stories about movies from Wal-Mart as well.
  • Walmart is a distribution channel and crossmarketing opportunity for Apple to tie-in its brand of product. Hollywood would like a single source of supply on software for consumers to easily obtain their offerings. Hollywood wants the best broker for the customer to make the experience positive and repeat.

    The deal here is Apple's proprietary format getting in between the consumer and the content. Walmart doesn't want to have Apple/Disney ransom the format against consumers unless they pony-up the AppleCar
  • Future is Digital (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ElitistWhiner ( 79961 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:09PM (#16247697) Journal
    FTA:: "Customers who throw a disc in their shopping carts spend an average of $75 per trip to the store -- far more than those who don't pick up a DVD."

    Walmart's air supply is DVD's, period.

    FTA:: "Studios are trying to calculate how much longer DVD sales -- 40% of which go through Wal-Mart -- will be a cornerstone of their business."

    Walmart is sucking thin air unless they replace sales lost to Digital downloads.

    FTA:: "Studio sources say the rest of the majors (Hollywood studios) are very close to joining Disney in a deal with Apple but are holding off until the end of the key fourth quarter (Xmas), when half of all DVD sales occur."

    Walmart is out of air after Xmas.

    Walmart is the next Luddite if they don't transition with their customer's, Hollywood and popular culture going over to Digital.

    In play are Walmart customer's, who's going to win their Entertainment dollar$ and live off the follow-on patronage represented by that $75.00 shopping basket. I would venture that Amazon is looking pretty good to Walmart right about now. A Bricks&Clicks deal would put Walmart's distribution behind every Amazon click to bring real leverage to the marketplace.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN