Wal-Mart Wows With $0.94 Music Downloads

Dennis Faas's picture

You didn't expect retail glutton Wal-Mart to sit idly by while iTunes, Napster, and the new LimeWire shared in all the legal download dollars, did you?

Of course not. That's why it's very little surprise that the omnipresent American chain has announced it will be going online in a big way when it comes to music. Like its deals on anything from t-shirts to tea, Wal-Mart has begun offering bargain basement prices for downloads to a variety of devices, including the Apple's iPod, iPhone, and Microsoft's Zune.

Just how low can Wal-Mart go?

To 94 cents, apparently. That's the price of the average song on Wal-Mart's online store, five cents cheaper than Apple's iTunes. For $9.22, visitors to Wal-Mart's site can download themselves an entire album. Both are cheaper than your average web-based or in-store rates, respectively. (Source: wsj.com)

DRM who?

Wal-Mart's also gone so far as to completely abolish that whole Digital Rights Management dealie. For those unfamiliar with DRM, it's the technology limiting the number of computers an iTunes-downloaded file can be copied onto. It's a nasty bit of small print that has for years been the focus of criticism from music consumers, and was recently removed from select iTunes files, for a price.

A much larger price than that offered by Wal-Mart.

According to Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's senior director and divisional manager for digital media, "We definitely believe that the MP3 format, without DRM, takes down barriers." Critics of the move would say it also takes down those walls keeping pirates from exploiting young artists. However, such sentiment is rare these days. (Source: nwanews.com)

For those interested in the new, super-cheap service, it can be found at Wal-mart's official website. For now, only music from Universal group and EMI are available, although Swint expects Sony BMG and Warner to be on board soon.

Is there nothing Wal-Mart can't do?

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