Walmart is looking to add a streaming service to its Walmart+ membership program. Sources told The New York Times that in a meeting with major media companies — including Paramount (Paramount+), Disney (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu) and Comcast (Peacock) — the retailer discussed which movies and TV shows would add the most value to its membership bundle.
The NYT added that according to two people familiar with the company’s strategy, Walmart is looking to build a relationship with customers beyond its stores and compete with Amazon’s Prime membership program.
Currently, a Walmart+ membership costs $12.95 per month and includes free shipping on orders and discounts on fuel — plus a free six-month subscription to Spotify Premium.
Media companies have been turning to other industries to find new subscribers, The NYT noted. Verizon and T-Mobile offer their customers free (or discounted) subscriptions to streaming services like Disney+ or Paramount+ as an incentive to sign up. Media companies receive new subscribers who are subsidized by their wireless providers.
This isn’t Walmart’s first attempt at getting into media streaming. The retailer bought digital video store and streaming service Vudu but later sold it to Fandango in 2020. Walmart also invested in Eko, a developer of interactive video technology.
This news comes less than a week after Walmart announced a corporate layoff due to low profit forecasts. A company spokesperson told Fox Business that Walmart is “further investing in key areas like eCommerce, technology, health & wellness, supply chain and advertising sales and creating new roles to support our growing number of services for our customers, suppliers and the business community.”
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