Walmart Is Teaming Up With A Blockbuster Streaming Service
An Interesting deal.
The present-day landscape of television and film content is dominated by streaming. Pioneered by the likes of Netflix, now there are countless different streaming platforms for viewers to engage with from a variety of brands and most of the major film studios have all gotten in on the act in recent years as well. Now, CNBC reports that Walmart has struck a streaming deal with Paramount+ that will allow Walmart+ members access to the ad-supported tier of Paramount’s platform.
Walmart has added streaming to its Walmart+ offering – which already includes the likes of free shipping of online purchases, free grocery deliveries for orders of at least $35 and discounts on prescriptions and fuel at a cost of $98 per year or $12.95 a month – to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime, which for several years has been one of the leaders in the streaming field as well as muscling in on the food retail sector. Walmart’s streaming deal will begin in September courtesy of Paramount+’s ‘essential tier,’ an ad-supported streaming subscription that usually costs in the realm of $4.99 per month.
According to the general manager of Walmart+ Chris Cracchiolo, Walmart streaming via Paramount will enable Walmart+ members to; “save even more and live better by delivering entertainment for less, too.” Launched in 2020, Walmart+ has grown to 11.5 million members as of February this year and by bringing streaming into its offering, has another weapon to compete with Amazon Prime. The addition of Walmart Streaming makes the offering even more potent when you consider the $98 annual price of Walmart+ is considerably shy of the recently hiked US Amazon Prime annual membership cost of $139.
Paramount will be hoping that signing the exclusive deal to facilitate Walmart streaming will help it in its goals to boost the outreach of Paramount+. The studio has been going all in on its streaming service, announcing that as of 2024, all Paramount movies will exclusively be streamed via Paramount+ and Variety reported in February that the studio plans to spend $6 billion-plus on streaming content in 2024. Exclusive film streaming, huge content spending and now teaming up with Walmart is all part of Paramount’s mission to reach 100 million Paramount+ subscribers by 2024. Techcrunch reported on August 4th that the service had reached 43 million subscribers, a 3.7 million growth from the previous quarter, that would have been 4.9 had the studio not taken the decision to remove Russian subscribers following the crisis in Ukraine.
Walmart and Paramount will be hopeful that their partnership to bring Walmart streaming to the retailer’s subscribers will prove a successful venture for both parties involved. The price comparison between Walmart+ and Amazon Prime could make the former a more desirable option, but could the ad-supported nature of Walmart’s team-up with Paramount prove a stumbling block in attracting new subscribers? Currently, Paramount customers can get ad-free streaming for $9.99 per month, just $5 more than the ad-supported service being incorporated into the Walmart+ offering. Will potential subscribers bypass Walmart and offer up the extra cash to get ad-free Paramount content, or will a cost-saving plus the addition of other perks draw subscribers in via Walamrt+, or will customers overlook both these options in what is an already over-saturated streaming marketplace?