Walmart plans to launch a new subscription video streaming service according to a new report out of The Information which credits “people familiar with the situation” for the details. According to the report, the new service would look to directly take on the likes of Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
Specifically, it would seem it’s the value-driven sector that is most-appealing to Walmart as the report highlights the retailer will look to undercut those other services with the suggestion its streaming option could arrive to market priced at under $8 per month. If correct, this could prove to be a disruptor to the video streaming market as while neither Amazon Prime Video or Netflix charge much more for their baseline packages, both services have been slowly increasing in price lately. For example, Netflix underwent a price increase late last year which saw its “Standard” plan rise up to $10.99 per month - it still offers an $8 per month “Basic” option which is limited to one stream at a time. Likewise, while Amazon does offer a standalone Prime Video option at a rate of $8.99 per month, the company did increase its Prime membership cost (which includes access to Prime Video) in May to $120 per year. The suggestion here is if these two services continue to slowly creep higher in price, Walmart may find a suitable price spectrum emerge where it can operate within. This could even more prove to be the case if the likes of Netflix and Amazon continue to invest and prioritize in their own original content, leaving the market open for a new arrival to once again capitalize on non-original content.
The report suggests Walmart may also look to capitalize on multiple fronts by launching an ad-supported tier. That is, in addition to offering a subscription tier that is cheaper than the competition, it may also make some content available for free by way of the inclusion of ads. The latter of which is not necessarily new territory for Walmart as the retailer already does own VUDU which offers a selection of content for free each month, bolstered by ads. Of course, none of this information is confirmed at the moment with the report highlighting things are in a very early stage, leading to the suggestion Walmart might abandon these plans altogether.