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March 23, 2004

The 800 Pound Gorilla

Wal-Mart Stores has officially launched its online music store.

The conventional wisdom is that Apple loses money on every song it sells at 99 cents, but makes it up on sales of iPods. But Walmart is pricing at 88 cents. How's that gonna work?

Also, they've named it "Music Downloads". In what universe do they think they're gonna be able to use that exclusively? It's like creating an operating system and calling it Windows. Oh... yeah.

The Wal-Mart service, called Music Downloads and located in a section of the company's Web site , sells individual songs for 88 cents each from a music catalog that has been expanded by 50 percent since the store went online in testing mode in December. Prices for entire albums vary.

[Cross-posted to TECHPopuli]

Posted by jghiii at March 23, 2004 02:48 PM
Posted by: Erik on March 23, 2004 08:51 PM

It will work the same way Walmart always works. They'll sell them for less until they drive everyone else out of business and then they'll raise prices.

Posted by: MGA on March 24, 2004 07:26 AM

Tough to do a loss leader on the internet, though. There's no pretty eye candy and you can't really bury the "special" in the back of the store. All I have to do is add the location to my "favorites" and I can skip the other traffic drivers.
Unless, of course they're advertising on the same page the stuff I can't live without, like air for instance.
That's still free isn't it?

Posted by: MGA on March 24, 2004 10:39 PM

Well, I just tried it. I selected two songs and pressed the purchase button. A half hour later, I'm still waiting for the next screen.

I think this is a little like being in the back of the wrong line at the grocery store and watching everybody else go first while my cashier keeps calling for price checks...

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on March 24, 2004 10:55 PM

Not to get on the soapbox, but have you tried the Apple Music store? Even if you don't buy anything, just playing samples can be a lot of fun.

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