Retailers' Video, Music Services Spin Wheels

Big retail chains keep trying to sell or rent music and movies online as sales of CDs and DVDs decline, but these ventures have done little to dent the market share of industry leaders Netflix Inc., Apple Inc. and Inc.

The retailers say the ventures not only help them gain a foothold in the fast-growing digital entertainment business, but also give them an edge in selling Internet-connected televisions and movie players in their stores.

Many of the TVs that Best Buy sells now come with CinemaNow software, while many of Wal-Mart’s are loaded with Vudu. The retailers also use free or discounted digital entertainment to lure customers to their websites, much as they have long done by selling certain movie and music discs at a loss to attract shoppers to their stores.

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