Walmart's name probably never comes up when talking about streaming services, but that could change soon as the retail chain is apparently thinking about developing a video platform that'll directly compete with high-profile streaming services such as Netflix.
According to a report by The Information, Walmart is considering a low-cost video streaming option intended to rival both Netflix and Amazon, currently two of the biggest streaming platforms in operation right now.
The Latest Video Streaming Company Is... Walmart?
The report, which cites anonymous sources, claims a subscription to Walmart's notional service would be cheaper than rival offerings, at less than $8 a month — by contrast, Netflix charges $8 to $14 for a monthly subscription, while Amazon charges $8.99. What's more, Walmart is also apparently considering a free version supported by ads, a la Spotify Free.
Walmart wouldn't be a first-timer in the video business, though: it's already dipped its feet in the streaming game via Vudu, a digital streaming service that offers thousands of titles to either buy or rent. It also has an ad supported streaming element called Movies On Us, which is free.
But the video streaming service would be the biggest expansion in the streaming landscape Walmart will ever commit to, and will make it the latest major company to join the digital content bandwagon. That likely won't be easy: the competition is just going to be tougher with Apple also preparing for a huge entrance into this market, with the Cupertino brand having approached TV and film heavyweights such as Oprah for its first round of content.
Facebook is also trying to make a splash with its Watch tab that's dedicated for videos and original content, but it's not exactly a Netflix competitor, or at least not yet.
Walmart And Content
The secret to a great streaming service is great content, obviously. A huge part of why Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are successful is because they all have something to offer to different kinds of audiences, be it drama, comedy, reality shows, animated series, and much more.
It'll be interesting to see how Walmart develops its content, as it will most likely try to create original series as well. However, there's also a possibility that the service caters only to a niche audience, similar to that of Shudder, a streaming service for fans of horror films. But this simply won't suffice if Walmart aims to rival Netflix. To even make a dent in Netflix's excellent track record, its streaming service must have a global appeal.
It's too early to predict such things, though, and there's always the chance Walmart ends up not going through with its streaming plans entirely.
What do you think? Should Walmart compete with Netflix and Amazon? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!