Proving that it is as serious about dominating the music download business as much as it has dominated the retail sphere, Wal-Mart (aka "the world's largest retailer") announced yesterday intentions to purchase Universal Music Group from troubled media conglomerate Vivendi Universal. The purchase will give Wal-Mart immediate control of nearly 30% of the US music market including such popular artists as Eminem, No Doubt and Sheryl Crow as well as a historic catalog that includes artists such as Abba and Louis Armstrong. Read the press release: Wal-Mart to Purchase Universal Music Group.
Wal-Mart to Offer Subscription-Based Download Service?
Wal-Mart refused to discuss whether the purchase will lead to any changes in its music download service, but knowledgeable insiders confirm that Wal-Mart will certainly decrease the price of both CDs and individual downloads for their artists, putting further pressure on alternate music download services such as Apple's iTunes and Napster 2.0. Additionally, analysts believe that Wal-Mart is considering experimentation with a subscription-based download service that would provide rationed download access to the entire Universal catalog for a flat fee of approximately $5/month.
It is April 1, sorry.