Walmart's music store
Wired news has an interview with Walmart.com's executive Kevin Swint. For those of you that did not know, Walmart.com very quietly started its own music store with tracks priced at $0.88 as opposed to the "standard" price of $0.99 per track (iTunes and Napster). Unlike the other services, Walmart.com has not been trumpeted their volume successes nor have they disclosed the revenue-sharing model that they have with the record companies (you can bet that it's better than everyone else's based on Walmart's purchasing power).
As it says in the article, there are more restrictions on the Walmart downloads -- Digital Rights Management is a bit more strict than some of the other services, but perhaps that's the trade-off for the cheaper price. I must admit that the Walmart library is fairly expensive. I will wait to see if the standard Walmart model applies and tracks cost $0.86 next year. Can Walmart compete with the sexiness of Apple's iPod and iTunes? It's anyone's game at this point, although Apple is certainly leading the pack. The interesting time will be when Walmart releases a Walmart-branded or exclusive very low cost MP3 player and cross-advertises the store with the player -- there are certainly music consumer our there for whom price is most definitely a factor.