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Wal-Mart Planning Movie Download Service

To compete with digital video offerings from Apple and Amazon, Wal-Mart is apparently planning its own download service.

The retail giant has announced that it is hiring a business manager for a digital-video downloading service via its website, according to the Financial Times. Wal-Mart is "currently in conversations with studios and technology companies regarding the possibility of offering digital download services," FT writes, adding that discussions are ongoing.

A Wal-Mart service would compete with a similar offering annouced yesterday during Apple's "It's Showtime!" event in San Francisco. Amazon also threw its hat into the video download ring last week.

Pricing for new-release DVD downloads could be an issue for Wal-Mart. Apple announced a $12.99 price tag for new-release movie downloads, which undercuts Wal-Mart's online price for new-release DVDs by almost $3. Wal-Mart's music download service offers songs at 88 cents each - 11 cents less than iTunes. If it were wants to offer a similar discount for movie downloads, the price would be around $11.41 a movie - $4 less than the DVD price.

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