Everybody’s getting into the downloadable video market, it seems. Besides Apple and Amazon, it seems that everybody’s favorite retailer, Wal-Mart, has decided to jump into the frame (a little movie humor for you there). The chain, which is the largest seller of movies, has taken a slightly different tack: instead of downloading movies from their website, you’ll buy a DVD and then, for a few dollars more, you’ll be able to download a version that will play on your computer or your handheld device (assuming, of course, it’s not an iPod). Portable device copies will cost $1.97; computer copies will cost $2.97; and for the low low price of $3.97 you can have both. Oh, plus that full quality DVD you already shelled out for . Psst, you can probably play that in your computer already, assuming you’re one of the millions with a DVD drive.
Wal-Mart’s not the only big company eyeing video downloads: rental chain Blockbuster and media conglomerate Time Warner are also testing the waters. Time Warner has dangled the possibility of burnable DVDs from downloads (day and date with DVD releases), which we hope will work better than CinemaNow’s très glitchy offering .
You know what? It really isn’t that hard to make a reasonable video download service, guys. Someone’s bound to get it right eventually. I’m just not convinced that it’s going to be any of the companies above.