Walmart is on the hunt for its own streaming partnership
The big box giant is rumored to have already met with Disney, Paramount, and Comcast.
The big box behemoth to end all big box behemoths has its eyes set on entering the Streaming Wars. As The New York Times revealed yesterday, Walmart is seriously considering partnering with at least one major streaming service to bundle with its existent Walmart+ premium membership program. Reports indicate company executives have met with representatives from Disney, Paramount, and Comcast in recent weeks, although it is currently unclear if any of these media empires are interested in teaming up with the major retailer.
First announced in 2020, the Walmart+ subscription service currently costs $12.95 per month, and includes fuel discounts as well as free online shipping alongside a free six-months of Spotify Premium. Similarly tiered membership options with mobile providers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T often offer streaming bundles as consumer incentives, a mutually beneficial partnership that helps attracts new customers. Verizon, for instance, offers newcomers “The Disney Bundle” (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu) with select Verizon Unlimited plans, while T-Mobile includes optional packages for Apple TV+, Paramount+, and Netflix. Meanwhile, AT&T just re-upped its contract with Warner Bros. Discovery for access to HBO Max.
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Initial reports indicate Walmart is pursuing a partnership akin to those already solidified with telecom giants instead of a standalone streaming service like Amazon Prime. This isn’t wholly surprising, since the big box retailer already tried to enter the industry with its purchase of Vudu back in 2010, a strategy that quickly floundered as Walmart later ended up selling off Vudu to (Comcast-owned) Fandango in 2020.
As TechCrunch noted in June, Walmart already hinted at its streaming goals earlier this summer with a partnership with Roku that enables interactive shopping ads via the latter’s platform.
It’s hard to envision Walmart not reaching a deal with one or more streaming services in the coming months. It goes without saying just how influential and dominant the big box originator is within the global retail economy, and tapping into that vast consumer base is an almost surefire way for streaming companies to boost potentially stagnant subscription numbers. Walmart raked in a massive $141.6 billion in revenue during Q1 2022, and while it expects both Q2 and year-end numbers to be slightly lower than initial estimates, it’s safe to say the company is doing just fine.