Wal-Mart and Apple Battle for Turf -Movie Downloads

Ronald Grover on Business Week —”As the largest seller of DVDs, Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 40% of the $17 billion in DVDs that will be sold this year, a financial lifeline to big-spending studios. But now Wal-Mart's video business faces a potential threat by Steve Jobs and Apple Computer (AAPL), which in mid-September, sources tell […]

Ronald Grover on Business Week —”As the largest seller of DVDs, Wal-Mart accounts for roughly 40% of the $17 billion in DVDs that will be sold this year, a financial lifeline to big-spending studios. But now Wal-Mart's video business faces a potential threat by Steve Jobs and Apple Computer (AAPL), which in mid-September, sources tell BusinessWeek, plans to announce it will start offering movie downloads from its iTunes store.”

The price Apple hopes to charge, now set at $14.99 for new releases and $9.99 for older movies, has risen from Jobs's initial plan to offer new flicks for $9.99, say industry insiders.

What does Wal-Mart want this time to play nice? Executives who have met with Porter say it wants marketing help when it launches its own planned download site. And it wants Hollywood to trim the current $17 wholesale price for DVDs. That would let Wal-Mart slash its own prices to the same $15 or so that Apple would charge. (The plan is for Apple to pay a $14 wholesale price for new releases, say sources, although negotiations continue.) A large wholesale cut for Wal-Mart, of course, would amount to hundreds of millions in lost studio revenues each year at a time when DVD sales are slowing. Continue for more info…

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Wal-Mart and Apple Battle for Turf -Movie Downloads