NEWCOMER: Wal-Mart is joining Hollywood’s emerging online movie locker system.
HOW IT WORKS: People who own DVDs or Blu-ray discs from five participating studios will be able to permanently access them on Wal-Mart’s Vudu online streaming service by paying $2 per movie. The offer applies regardless of where customers bought the discs, but they must bring them to a store in person.
SIGNIFICANCE: It’s supposed to give consumers confidence that the discs they buy today won’t be obsolete in a few years. It’s also designed to familiarize people with buying movies digitally and give Wal-Mart foot traffic for other sales.