Wal-Mart Up Against iTunes

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has debuted a test version of its new video-download service, pitting the retailer against Apple Inc.’s iTunes service.

The service, available on Wal-Mart’s Web site, lets users download movies or television episodes to their computers or portable media players. By partnering with Hollywood’s biggest studios, Wal-Mart’s download service includes more than 3,000 titles from 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lions Gate, MGM, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros., and television networks including Comedy Central, Fox and Nickelodeon.

Downloads range from $1.96 per television episode up to $19.88 for new movies. Movie releases will be available for download the same day the DVD is released, according to Wal-Mart.

The service is powered by technology from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard Co.

Victoria’s Secret Chooses On-Demand Platform

In the second half of 2007, Victoria’s Secret Direct will power its $1.3 billion direct-to-consumer business with Cambridge, Mass.-based n2N’s on-demand software, the industry’s first cross-channel, on-demand e-commerce technology platform designed to service large multichannel retailers.

n2N’s cross-channel platform integrates e-commerce, call-center and order-management applications. By weaving Web 2.0 technology and personalization tools, n2N enables retailers to craft branded consumer experiences across channels, using straightforward configuration instead of expensive customization.

n2N conducted research with 20 of the large-scale multichannel retailers, including Victoria’s Secret, finding that while most have homegrown their current systems, there is a demand for a viable on-demand cross-channel e-commerce offering.

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