April 28, 2005

Wal-Mart Custom Burning CDs

Wal-Mart had the misfortune of scheduling the launch of its new service on the same day as the release of Rhapsody 3.0. Wal-Marts new custom CDs were relegated to the sidelines, which is perhaps where they will stay. Wal-Mart has never gotten much coverage of its online music site, despite undercutting iTMS by 11 cents per track (every song is 88 cents).

Wal-Mart Offers Custom CDs

Posted Apr 28, 2005, 6:46 AM ET by Brad Hill

Wal-Mart had the misfortune of scheduling the launch of its new service on the same day as the release of Rhapsody 3.0. Wal-Marts new custom CDs were relegated to the sidelines, which is perhaps where they will stay. Wal-Mart has never gotten much coverage of its online music site, despite undercutting iTMS by 11 cents per track (every song is 88 cents). Part of the problem is the middling catalog of 400,000 tracks, but the bigger issues probably are Wal-Mart image and customer demographics. With the download store faltering, Wal-Mart has introduced custom CD burningyou select the tracks; they do all the work. As with the download store, the interface is Web-based (IE is necessary to reorder the list of tracks on a custom CD) and quite expertly designed. Prices are $4.62 for the first three songs, then 88 cents per additional track, and $1.97 for shipping. A 12-track custom CD costs $14.51 to your doornot a great cost-saving over a store-bought CD, especially at Wal-Mart, but pre4sumably each track is a keeper.

This scheme is hardly an innovation; other custom-CD stores have been attempted and abandoned. Perhaps the marketplace is divided into extremes: playlist consumers who download, and traditional consumers who dont care to program their music beyond buying prepackaged CDs.

Walmart.com - Custom CD

Posted by keefner at April 28, 2005 02:18 PM