The Information reports that Walmart is considering launching a subscription streaming video service to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. 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. You do have to wonder if even Walmart can overcome the growing number of original programming and content deals that Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon have right now.
The Information notes that a streaming service can be a money maker, but it's also expensive to set up and acquire content. 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. But Walmart wants to undercut its competition by pricing its service at $8 per month-or lower.
"We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programs by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants", she said. Additionally, Walmart is said to be considering an ad supported free tier of service.
Walmart has yet to determine if it will actually launch a service and may decide against the idea. (Netflix's standard HD plan is now $10.99 monthly.) But the report had no details on what kind of TV shows, movies or other programming might be available in a Walmart SVOD service.
Total daily viewing time across all devices stands at 5 hours one minute, of which two-thirds (three hours 33 minutes or 71%) was broadcast content, and 1 hour 28 minutes was non-broadcast content. It's not known whether Walmart would seek to cultivate original, in-house content to entice new subscribers, nor whether it would rely exclusively on licensing agreements (and, perhaps, its market-penetrating reach) to align only existing films and TV shows for the platform.