In what may be touted as a viewership battle against Netflix and Amazon Prime, Walmart announced its plans of launching its own video streaming service. While seeming to enter an industry characterized by intense competition, Walmart may look to challenge rivals by pricing the streaming services at $8 per month or less.
Sources close to the matter said that the price tag of $8 per month is driven by the idea that Amazon and Netflix are more preferred by viewers on the East and West coasts, whereas people living in the middle regions of America may be attracted to a lower-cost option. As per records, Netflix charges between $8 and $14 per month, while Amazon’s Prime Video subscriptions cost nearly $8 per month. Both platforms had also witnessed abrupt prices changes recently, with Netflix’s 4K streaming plan rising by $2 at the end of last year and Amazon Prime’s annual charge increased to $119 in May.
The sources further cited that the proposal is only in an initial stage and there is a probability Walmart could dispose of the idea completely. The company might consider introducing a no-cost ad-supported video service, similar to the ad-supported channels that Roku displays on its streaming service. Incidentally, the retailer is not entirely new to the video streaming business, as it owns a movie buying/renting service named Vudu which launched its own ad-supported video service, Movies on Us, some years back.
Walmart’s intentions of starting a video streaming service supposedly follow the slowing down of Netflix subscriptions. Netflix has a subscriber strength of 130 million, but it missed the growth target for the April-June period by almost 1 million, reports confirmed.
Netflix and Amazon feature licensed media on their services, but it is uncertain as to what content Walmart will show on its streaming platform. It is observed that majority of the companies involved in the streaming business such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Hulu are planning to spend billions of dollars towards producing original shows and movies in the next few years.