Wal-Mart Tests Its Own Web Music Service

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a bare-bones Web site Thursday to test its new 88-cents-per-song online music service, hoping that its cheaper price will lure listeners from more expensive competitors. Other sites, such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store, charge 99 cents per song. Wal-Mart said its site has "hundreds of thousands" of songs, available in Windows Media Audio format, which can be transferred to compatible portable devices, burned to a CD or played on Windows PCs. "The test phase for this new service is important to gauge customer feedback, so that we can deliver a quality music downloads service that customers will want to use time and time again," said Walmart.com senior category manager Kevin Swint.

The company plans to see what customers like and don't like about the service in the months ahead and formally launch it in the spring. Executives at the world's largest retailer are fond of saying that 20 percent of their customers don't have checking accounts. Even so, 64 percent of Wal-Mart customers are online, Swint said. "We see digital music downloads as a natural extension of the music selection offered in Wal-Mart stores," he said. Walmart.com spokeswoman Cynthia Lin would not say what the famously cost-conscious company expects to make from offering the service. Lin said Wal-Mart employed its traditional low-cost methods in developing the music site but would not say whether it negotiated lower rates to license the songs it sells.

News source: Yahoo News

View: Walmart Music Store

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