January 2, 2008, 12:00 AM

Walmart.com closes the curtain on video downloads

Walmart.com quietly ended its digital service, which debuted in February, on Dec. 21 after Hewlett-Packard Co. stopped providing the application that enabled shoppers to purchase and download videos such as movies and TV shows.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

After an 11-month run, Walmart.com has lowered the curtain on its movie download application.

Walmart.com, No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, quietly ended the service, which debuted in February, on Dec. 21 after Hewlett-Packard Co. stopped providing the application that enabled shoppers to purchase and download videos such as movies and TV shows.

“HP made a business decision to discontinue its video download-only merchant store service, which powered the Wal-Mart video downloads beta service,” says a Walmart.com spokesman.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc launched a beta version of its video download technology in February. The Video Downloads Store on Walmart.com included more than 3,000 movie and television titles from Hollywood studios and television networks. Viewers stored downloaded files on their PCs and could watch them on PCs, laptops and portable media players.

Walmart.com isn’t disclosing how many shoppers downloaded videos during the trial, but the site will continue to sell CDs, DVDs and other entertainment-related products. “While the beta service is no longer available, we remain focused on providing great values in movie entertainment online and in stores,” the spokesman says.

Debbie Kristofferson, vice president of creative and user experience at Walmart.com, will speak at the Internet Retailer Web Design ’08 Conference, Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Miami, in a session entitled Wal-Mart: Setting the pace on site design.

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