Wal-Mart Closing MP3 Download Store After Seven Years

The company launched its digital music service in 2003 as a competitor to Apple's then-new iTunes.

Wal-Mart is getting out of the digital music business after seven years, music industry blog Digital Music News reported Tuesday.

The company said Tuesday that it will close its MP3 store at the end of the month.

“We recently notified our music partners that we’ve made a business decision to no longer offer MP3 digital tracks as of Aug. 29, 2011," the company said. "All content in the store will be disabled and no longer available for download from the store."

Wal-Mart began selling music digitally in late 2003, just months after Apple launched iTunes. The discount store sold tunes for 88 cents, compared to iTunes' 99-cent price.

The store has since raised its prices for most new songs to $1.24, 5 cents less than iTunes.

But the store failed to create any real competition to Apple's industry-dominant service.

In its announcement, Wal-Mart said it will continue to sell "physical record music products" online and in retail stores. It also will continue to support customers who bought restricted files in the WMA format.