Wal-Mart Plans to Test Online Films [New York Times]
Summary: Wal-Mart will offer new online video downloading service on its website next year. The company stated that all the major movie studios are interested in joining or have already signed on to project. Hewlett-Packard is designing the downloading technology. Wal-Mart is already offering movie download options with the purchase of "Superman Returns" DVDs. Customers have the option of paying an additional $1.97 for a download to a portable device, $2.97 for a PC download , or both for $3.97. Tying downloads to DVDs protects the still lucrative DVD market, but some studios are concerned that Wal-Mart's pricing will set the standard for movie downloads. BitTorrent, a popular movie downloading site, cut distribution deals with eight media companies, including 20th Century Fox, Paramount and MTV Networks. Henceforth, the internet company will begin policing its site for unauthorized content in addition to selling legitimate TV shows and movies on its website.
Related links:Press Release: PR Newswire. Media coverage: Forbes, Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney.com. Commentary: Leaning Lamps, Used Vaporizers And Wal Mart • Wal-Mart Goes On Investor Probation • Retail Discounters: Hope Their Exotic Investments Excel. Conference call transcripts: Wal-Mart F3Q07 (Qtr End 10/31/06).
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Wal-Mart (WMT), News Corp. (NWS), Viacom (VIA), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Amazon.com (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Sony (SNE), Apple (AAPL) • ETFs: First Tr DJ Internet Index Fd (FDN), Internet HOLDRS (HHH), Retail HOLDRS (RTH), Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR).
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