Wal-Mart launches 88-cent music downloads

March 23, 2004 at 11:51 AM

BRISBANE, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- Wal-Mart Tuesday officially launched its music file download service offering thousands of digital downloads at 88 cents a song.

The Bentonville, Ark., discount retailer began testing its 24/7 music service in December 2003 as it prepared to challenge Apple Computers' successful iTunes Music Store and other pay-per-download music sites. Apple's iTunes, which charges 99 cents per song, sold its 50 millionth download online last week.

"Customer response during our test phase has been extremely positive, with strong customer demand across a variety of genres from rock, pop and rap to R&B and country," said Kevin Swint, Walmart.com's director of entertainment categories.

The Wal-Mart music service offers music files in the WMA format and allows customers to burn songs to a CD or transfer music to a PC compatible portable device.

Wal-Mart offers exclusive songs by Jessica Simpson, 3 Doors Down, Black Eyed Peas, Hilary Duff, Shania Twain, Shakira and POD.

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