BRISBANE, Calif. and BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced the beta version of its new video downloads service, now available at www.walmart.com/videodownloads. The beta service, powered by new technology from HP Video Merchant Services, includes more than 3,000 movie and TV titles from major Hollywood studios and television networks and offers customers the convenient option of downloading movies and TV shows to their personal computers for viewing on PCs, laptops and portable media players. Wal-Mart is the first major retailer to offer a video downloads service with the support of all major Hollywood studios.
New movie releases are available for video download on the day of the DVD release and range from $12.88- $19.88, with catalog titles starting at only $7.50 and TV shows at $1.96 per episode. In addition to individual video downloads, Wal-Mart will continue to offer physical/digital movie bundles for select movie titles throughout the year, such as last year's Superman Returns bundle, in which customers purchase the physical DVD and have the option of downloading the same title for a small additional price to use on portable devices and PCs.
"This marks a significant step for Wal-Mart in home video, and enables us to better serve our customers as they begin to complement their DVD purchases with downloading of digital video content," said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for digital media. "With thousands of movie and TV titles now available for download, coupled with the strength of our successful physical DVD business, this is an unprecedented offering of video content, features and capabilities currently unmatched in the market. Also, we're excited to launch a service that has the support of all the major Hollywood studios."
Wal-Mart & HP Relationship
Powered by HP Video Merchant Services, the company's recently announced digital media Web commerce services business, Wal-Mart's beta video downloads service has been developed to provide customers an easy and enjoyable entertainment shopping and discovery experience. Customers can browse and select digital movies and TV titles that can be easily downloaded to a PC for viewing on a PC, laptop or portable video player. Additionally, the technology features a newly developed "movie connection" tool that allows customers to discover new movies through the visual connections between actors and directors across a complete catalog of films. The tool also offers a rich browsing experience that includes preview trailers and selectable category/genre and TV network listings.
"Working with HP in digital video combines Wal-Mart's ability to bring exciting content offerings to our customers with the substantial technical capabilities of HP. We anticipate further expanding this service to offer a comprehensive online home video shopping experience that meets our customers' growing needs and allows them to shop a deep selection of movie/TV content in a variety of formats, including video downloads," said Swint.
"HP is focused on fully connecting consumers to compelling content in astoundingly simple and efficient ways," said Willem de Zoete, vice president and general manager of Digital Entertainment Services at HP. "With today's launch of our Video Merchant Services business and with Wal-Mart as our flagship customer, we've taken a major step forward in changing the way consumers shop for and purchase video content while enabling retailers to seamlessly merchandise broad and deep video catalogs across a variety of digital and physical formats."
Wal-Mart Studio & Television Network Relationships
Wal-Mart's beta video downloads service includes new movie releases, recent releases, and catalog titles from all of the major Hollywood studios including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc (MGM), Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Also, participating television networks and content providers include, Comedy Central, CW, FOX, FOX Reality, 20th Century Fox Television Classics, Fuel TV, FX, Logo, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., SPEED, The N, VH1, and Warner Bros.
Some of the new and recent movie releases currently available in Wal-Mart's beta video downloads service include:
* 20th Century Fox: The Devil Wears Prada and Little Miss Sunshine
* Disney/Pixar: Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
* Lionsgate: Employee of the Month and Saw III
* MGM: The Thomas Crown Affair and Rocky
* Paramount Pictures: Mission Impossible: III and An Inconvenient Truth
* Sony Pictures Entertainment: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and The Da Vinci Code
* Universal Studios Home Entertainment: You, Me and Dupree and The Break Up
* Warner Bros: Superman Returns and Lady in the Water
Additionally, the beta will offer upcoming new releases such as Oscar-nominated Babel (Paramount Pictures) on Feb. 20 and The Departed (Warner Bros.) on Feb. 13. To learn more about Wal-Mart's new beta video downloads service, go to www.walmart.com/videodownloads.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE Arca, formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange, under the symbol WMT.
Source: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.