Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated has cancelled its online video download service, which accounted for about 40% of all DVD sales, less than a year after the site went live and is most likely related to Hewlett Packard Company’s move to discontinue the technology that powered the store. According to the webpage, the service closed down a week ago. Customers who have already purchased movies can continue to watch them but will receive no refunds. In 2005 the company decided to abandon its online DVD rental service and turned it over to Netflix Incorporated. The Internet video business is changing rapidly and Wal-mart may very well re-enter it one day. Wal-Mart will continue offering physical DVDs for sale at its stores and online.
Launched in February, Wal-Mart's video download service initially included 3,000 films and television episodes for customers to buy and watch on their computers and in some cases a portable device. Wal-Mart initially offered films from $12.88 to $19.88 and individual TV episodes for $1.96 (4 cents less than the iTunes store). Wal-Mart's online store sold older titles starting at $7.50, compared with the $9.99 charged by iTunes. Videos purchased on Walmart.com could be played using the Microsoft Windows Media Player or the Wal-Mart Video Download Manager, but were limited to the computer used to download them.