Walmart video streaming service tipped as Netflix, Prime Video rival

19 July, 2018, 16:12 | Author: Heather Diaz
  • EnlargeWalmart

While the venture would be expensive, it could potentially aid Walmart in its ongoing battle against Amazon, which has taken a bite out of the profits of many brick-and-mortar retailers. It could be priced at less than $8 a month, according to one of the people cited by the report, which would put its monthly rate below that of both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video - though Walmart is also mulling over an ad-supported free service.

Survey data published by Ofcom show that Netflix had 9.1 million United Kingdom subscribers in the first quarter, while Amazon Prime Video had 4.8 million customers.

One confusing thing with the report is that Walmart is also looking into launching an ad-supported streaming service.

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Currently, Walmart has a digital product in Vudu, which is an online store for downloading and renting movies, according to CNET, but the retail company does not offer a subscription service. Combined subscriptions to streaming services reached 15.4 million as of Q1 2018, while paid TV subscriptions is at 15.1 million. While this is a moment we have been anticipating for a while, the change will only accelerate as more streaming services develop partnerships to ease access for the consumer. Vudu now has a free streaming service called Movies On Us which features ads.

If Disney has a compelling streaming service with 3,000 hours of exclusive content priced at $3.99 per month, Walmart will need a service that can compete on the merits, and there is no clear path to get there without spending big on exclusive content. A host of new shows and movies are coming to Amazon Prime Video including oldies, newbies, and originals. Nonexclusive titles and a few exclusive shows (say, for example from Viacom's new MTV Studios unit) could be enough to launch, though such an offering would find a crowded field, and would need a plan for differentiation.

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