The cost to download music from the site is 88 cents per song or typically $9.44 an album, Colella said. The cost for a customized CD of three songs is $4.62 plus 88 cents for each additional song. Shipping costs $1.97.
Analyst Phil Leigh of Tampa, Fla., founder of Inside Digital Media Inc., said other companies have been-there, done-that.
"I think they (Wal-Mart) are going to be disappointed. The price isn't that attractive. It was tried before" by a few startup companies in the dot-com boom and was not successful, Leigh said. Also, other companies, like Apple iTunes, offer downloadable music that provides consumers "instant gratification."
"There's no real cost advantage to what Wal-Mart is offering here," Leigh said.
Starbucks offers customized CDs at its coffee shops but the advantage there is that customers can get their CDs while they sip their favorite cup of java.
Leigh predicted Wal-Mart would have trouble overcoming the desire for an immediate return on the money paid. He also said the pool of people without CD burners or broadband Internet access was shrinking. In addition, those without a CD burner most likely are in lower-income brackets.
"You're addressing a market that is typically not a high-discretionary income market," Leigh said.
Snipets from the press release:
Wal-Mart announces the launch of its new online custom CD service, now available to customers nationwide at http://www.walmart.com/music . The new easy-to-use, no- download-required music service allows customers to conveniently select individual songs from a deep music catalog that Walmart.com then places on a personalized, physical CD sent to their address -- all at a great Wal-Mart value of only $4.62 for the first three songs and only 88 cents per additional song.
A unique, innovative offering unmatched by any other online music provider, the new online custom CD service presents another convenient music solution for customers to select and arrange their music choices and personalize a CD for themselves, their family or friends. Also, custom CDs offer even more ease and flexibility for customers as they don't require the use of a CD burner.
At only $4.62 per custom CD (includes physical CD, three songs and packaging), plus 88 cents for each additional song, customers can easily select tunes from an extensive, multi-genre catalog, personalize the CD title and packaging from a variety of images, and ship it to their address. Also, customers can choose from an extensive music catalog of new releases, top songs and albums, artists of the month, and Wal-Mart exclusives.
"We recognize music is not only important, but incredibly personal to our customers. At Walmart.com, our new online custom CD service delivers a convenient entertainment solution for customers to easily experience and enjoy music in a personalized format. Also, the service is readily accessible to customers without a CD burner or who prefer not to download music," said Kevin Swint, Walmart.com's director of media categories.