Eight years after retail giant Walmart announced its ‘iTunes-killer’ 88-cent MP3 downloads, the company is waving the white flag and closing shop later this month.
In a letter to Walmart distributors, Walmart wrote Tuesday its Music Downloads Store at mp3.walmart.com will close Aug. 28. MP3 file downloads will be disabled. The closure leaves iTunes in an even stronger position in digital music sales with Amazon a distant second and Spotify still finding its legs after coming ashore from Europe.
Although Walmart offered 88-cent MP3 downloads, the Apple iTunes advantages were too great to overcome, according to Digital Music News, which first published the internal memo announcing the retailers exit from online music sales.
“Discounts meant little compared to integrated iPod and iPhone integration, a superior iTunes user interface, and the tether created by stored credit cards (which Apple does well),” the publication noted.
A Walmart representative clarified the closing, explaining it only affects MP3 files and not copy-protected music that is streamed online or sold via retail stores or the walmart.com website. I guess Walmart customers can thank their lucky stars that the big W ditched DRM a few years back.