Published: Thu, July 19, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Walmart reportedly considering streaming service to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Walmart reportedly considering streaming service to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Today, Ofcom has announced that TV streaming services - such as Netflix, Amazon Prime TV and Now TV - now have more subscribers in the United Kingdom than traditional paid satellite/cable services.

Walmart mulls video streaming service to rival Netflix, Amazon: report
Walmart Reportedly Eyeing Low-Cost Streaming Service to Rival Netflix, Amazon

The Arkansas-based retailer is said to be eyeing a price point below $8 for the service, which would make Walmart's platform cheaper than both Netflix and Prime Video, The Information reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

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While taking on Netflix and Amazon on pricing sounds like something Walmart would do, the report notes that there is the possibility that Walmart will decide not to enter such a capital and tech-intensive business, and just drop the idea. Walmart is also considering an ad-supported free service. In 2010, Walmart acquired Vudu, which sells on-demand movie rentals, and has since added free videos with ads to the service, but those efforts haven't become popular.

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Both services have seen price increases recently as well-Netflix raised the price of its top-tier 4K streaming plan by $2 and its mid-tier plan by $1 at the end of past year, while an Amazon Prime annual subscription jumped to $119 in May (Prime Video is included in a Prime membership). But launching its own streaming service would place Walmart in direct competition with Netflix and heat up its battle with Amazon.

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The Walmart pay service would charge $8 per month, according to The Information. YouTube, with its massive, varied and often amateur content maintains the biggest overall share of viewing time. Findings from Nielsen revealed that people watch old shows, like "Friends" or "The Office", 80 percent of the time and only watch new original content 20 percent of the time, according to MediaVillage, which first shared the data. 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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