Bentonville, Ark. - Walmart is shutting its MP3 music download store this month.
According to a report in Digital Music News, the eight-year-old download site will close on Aug. 28, due ostensibly to weak consumer demand, price insensitivity, and market domination by Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com.
A certified letter sent to distribution and licensing partners obtained by the industry blog reads in part: "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 site sells individual songs for 64 cents, 94 cents and $1.24, and album-length downloads at varying price points.
A Walmart spokesman told the blog that dropping MP3 downloads was "a business decision," and that it will continue to support the DRM-protected files it sold prior to 2008.
Walmart will continue to sell music via physical media in stores and online, the letter indicated, and will also continue to provide its free Soundcheck concert streaming service, albeit without any download options.