June 10, 2023

Wal-Mart Does Movie Downloads Wrong

I’ve been watching the news about Wal-Mart offering movie downloads rather intently, mostly hoping that they’d learn from their previous mistakes but it looks like they haven’t.

It looks to me like there’s not only a few flaws with the movie download site’s business model, but there seems to be problems with the site itself.

For starters, the site doesn’t work in FireFox! That’s to be expected though because their audio download store doesn’t work in firefox either, and it’s almost a year old! (note to IE users: you’ll see a perfectly working store at that URL.)

Why would Wal-Mart alienate over 30% of the web’s users? That’s just not good business sense.

Secondly, let’s look at the business model. It’s bad enough that it won’t work on my iPod (but that’s Apple’s fault, not Wal-Mart’s) but they add DRM that further restricts it.

The pricing model hurts this even further. Why would I pay $13-$20 for a movie (compared to $10-$25 for a DVD) that only works on limited computers, can’t be burned to a DVD, and can’t be watched on a normal television (without an expensive adapter for my device). It’s just not worth it to me.

I’m certainly not going to upgrade from my iPod to something else just to download movies (Apple also offers movies.. it’s not clear if both will offer the same titles), and there’s no way I’m paying the same price for something that’s even more restrictive than a DVD.

I don’t think this service will be around long.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com


  1. Note: Yes I know that FF’s market share is NOT 30%. But hey, we can all dream right?