Wal-Mart Hears The Sound Of One Hand Clapping

You can't be missed until you go away, but it's unlikely that Wal-Mart's online video download service will be missed even now that it has gone away. Less than a year after it began, Wal-Mart quietly closed it up four days before Christmas. No one even noticed until now.

A message at www.walmart.com/videodownloads said the service was stopped on December 21 and Wal-Mart offered no refunds for the downloaded videos.

Videos purchased on Walmart.com can be played using the Microsoft Windows Media Player or the Wal-Mart Video Download Manager, but cannot be transferred to a computer other than the one used to download them, according to the site.

The giant retailer's foray into online video downloading began in February and was hailed by media industry experts as a "game changer" that could introduce millions of DVD buyers to the practice of downloading.

Apparently not. The restrictive DRM is likely the killer here. Comparatively few people have their Internet connected computer hooked up directly to the screen they wish to view a movie on. The market for watching movies at a desk must be fairly limited.  At least for Wal-Mart, it's now limited to nobody.
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