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November 14, 2005

Wal-Mart considers DVD download booths

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is reportedly in talks with Hollywood studios about the introduction of kiosks into its stores to facilitate the downloading of films onto discs.

By CBR Staff Writer

The customer-operated digital technology would enable Wal-Mart customers to select a film and download it onto disc within a compact in-store space that will come to be recognized as a DVD download booth.

The move holds advantages for both the retailer Wal-Mart and the studio distributors. For Wal-Mart, the more compact in-store facility will free-up space on its product-brimming shelves and for film studios it will cut costs incurred through shipping and returns.

Wall Street analysts and film executives have identified limited shelf space as one of the factors responsible for the slowdown in DVD sales and the download booths are seen as one way of rectifying the problem. The venture could also provide a boost to the film industry as a whole having seen market predictions that DVD sales will have fallen flat by 2007.

Wal-Mart is no stranger to digital technology, and a similar facility whereby customers can download songs onto discs is already being tested in some of its stores.

Although there is no solid ground in place for the introduction of these download booths as yet, the talks are reflective of the increasing incursion of digital media into consumer territory.

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