September 24, 2004, 12:00 AM

Wal-Mart pushes digital music sales with in-store deals

Just as it has impacted sales of CDs, Wal-Mart is using its clout to drive customers online to buy digital music. It’s offering package deals of free music downloads with purchases of everyday items like toothbrushes in its stores, the retailer says.

 

Just as it has impacted sales of CDs in retail stores, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is using its clout to drive customers to its web site to buy digital music. It’s offering package deals of free music downloads with purchases of everyday items in its stores, Kevin Swint, director of entertainment categories for WalMart.com, tells Internet Retailer.

In a deal with The Gillette Co., for example, Wal-Mart is offering digital music coupons packaged with items like Gillette’s Oral-B toothbrushes and Duracell batteries. “We see this as a unique way to introduce people to digital music,” Swint says. The coupons come with code numbers that can be entered for redemption at WalMart.com.

With its clout as the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has already had a major impact on sales of music CDs, experts say. “Wal-Mart’s increasing importance as a CD distribution channel has both forced prices down, without increasing overall volume, and shrunk the total number of retail outlets,” Jupiter Research says in its “Market Forecast Report: Music, 2004-2009.”

Now, with its aggressive promotions and pricing of digital music, Wal-Mart is in a position to have a major effect on digital music. WalMart.com digital music prices, at 88 cents per song, are already lower than the 99 cents charged by most digital music retailers, though Wal-Mart isn’t revealing how many digital music tracks it has sold since launching digital music sales in March.

 

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