According to Digitial Music News, eight years and almost as many strategies later, Walmart is closing their MP3 Music Download store its $0.88 tracks in the face of insurmountable competition from Apple's iTunes and associated devices like iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
"After eight years in business, the Walmart Music Downloads Store located at mp3.walmart.com will close on August 28, 2011. All content in the Store will be disabled and no longer available for download from the store.
"The sale of physical record music products on Walmart.com as well as in Walmart US retail stores will remain unaffected. Walmart Soundcheck (soundcheck.walmart.com) will remain operational as a live streaming site without any download options."
They'll keep the DRM servers running for customers who purchased WMA music before Walmart switched to unprotected MP3.
Still, Walmart gets added to Yahoo! Music Unlimited, MTV URGE, AOL MusicNow, MusicMatch Jukebox, and growing list of others to exist the music download business. Which is unfortunate because iTunes needs rivals, and not just subscription services like Rdio, Spotify, Zune, Slacker, Pandora, etc., or music lockers like Amazon Cloud or Google Music Beta.
Amazon MP3 is still going strong, though Amazon has failed to grow the service internationally, and has yet to begin offering associated devices of their own, like their much-rumored Android-based tablet. Is the age of downloadable music, outside of iTunes, simply coming to an end?