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Wal-Mart Jumps Into Video Streaming 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the timing-is-everything dept.
Endoflow2010 writes "Today Wal-Mart has added streaming video to their website. What better time to compete with Netflix, now that they have raised their prices? On Wal-Mart's website, the movies will be available the same day the DVDs go on sale in stores. Walmart.com general manager Steve Nave said the retailer is following its customers as they increasingly embrace digital movie rentals and purchases. 'We know customers are starting to shift their behavior, in terms of how they consume their media,' Nave said, adding, 'As as customers make that change, we don't want to lose that customer as they shift to digital.' Wal-Mart, long the nation's leading seller of DVDs, signaled its intent to double down on digital movie distribution in February 2010, when it spent a reported $100 million to acquire Vudu, a Silicon Valley start-up that was gradually being added to home entertainment devices."
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Wal-Mart Jumps Into Video Streaming

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  • Useless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @06:36PM (#36889114)

    Streaming is useless when ISPs keep adding more caps.

    Many ISPs are also cable-television providers and they're doing their best to smother this baby while it's still in the crib.

    --
    BMO

  • Obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ekimd (968058) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @06:39PM (#36889162)
    But will it support Linux?
  • Netflix (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @06:48PM (#36889230)

    Today Wal-Mart has added streaming video to their website. What better time to compete with Netflix, now that they have raised their prices?

    Netflix actually lowered the price customers pay to get the most comparable service to the Wal-Mart offering (streaming-only), as well as for disc-only service; the only people who saw price increases were those people who want both streaming and DVD delivery, which

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @06:51PM (#36889266)

    The MAFIAA standard plan to releasing content on the internet while maintaining control of the distribution chain:

    • 1) Let a company license it for cheap. It's either an end-of-life service that lets them make a few more pennies on content that's long since been monetized, or should it for some reason take off, this will help build up demand.
    • 2) Should it catch on, jack up the contract prices so that it doesn't undercut other media sales.
    • 3) License the same content to a financially sound natural competitor of the company in #1, so that they can bleed company #1 of customers.
    • 4) After company #1 has been sufficiently weakened, jack up the contract prices on company #2 and all further companies.
    • 5) Profit. Internet distribution is handled through a number of smaller providers engaged in bitter competition, so they won't work together and they don't have the individual clout to dictate any of the terms of future contacts.

    The MAFIAA learned their mistake from iTunes, where they waited until it was too late to try to stop Apple. And while they eventually got variable pricing, they still had to give Apple more control than they're comfortable with - it still makes them rage to this day. They aren't going to make the same mistake with films and TV shows: no single competitor will be allowed to get big enough to dictate contract terms. It will be the studios who make a profit and the studios who anyone has to go through to publish content; the role of the distributors is to distribute content as cheap as possible for the studios.

    And thus we're on Step 3. WalMart is the competitor the studios are setting up to combat Netflix. When Netflix is sufficiently bled, WalMart will then have their contract prices increased just as Netflix had.

  • by Tenareth (17013) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @07:14PM (#36889424) Homepage

    Small problem with that plan is that for #4, Walmart would have to cave... if there is one thing that Walmart has shown to be outrageously good at, it is controlling their suppliers' pricing.

  • by WillDraven (760005) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @07:14PM (#36889428) Homepage

    ... I wouldn't touch it. I just don't do business with Wal-Mart for a number of reasons. Of course, I'm just one person among hundreds of millions who just don't care where they spend their money.

    Haha, the hundreds of millions who shop there do so precisely because they care where their money goes.

    Not exactly. They don't care where it goes, they just care how much of it is going.

  • by WillDraven (760005) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @07:21PM (#36889484) Homepage

    I would be leery of trying this tactic if I were the studios. At least with WalMart. WalMart has enough leverage in the retail business to destroy anyone who messes with them. WalMart could simply threaten to no longer carry the studios DVDs if they don't play ball and the studio would have to buckle, unless they wanted to lose 30-40% of their DVD sales.

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