Walmart holds talks with media giants to add streaming to ‘plus’ subscription

Walmart has reportedly held talks with a handful of major media organisations over the prospect of bundling streaming services into its Walmart+ membership.

Much like the internationally-known Amazon Prime subscription, the US$12.95 per month membership is largely based around free shipping on orders, while offering a number of perks including discounts on fuel and a free six-month Spotify premium subscription.

According to the New York Times, Walmart has held discussions with a number of executives from Paramount, Disney and NBCUniversal-owner Comcast. The sources cited by the report said that it is currently considering which movies and series would add the most value to Walmart+.

However, the report also notes that it is currently unclear as to whether any of the trio of media giants would consider a distribution deal with Walmart. 

A deal might potentially serve Disney best, with the company bracing for subscriber losses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and in light of major rival Netflix’s recent struggles

NBCU meanwhile could utilise a partnership with America’s largest retailer to boost its stalling streaming service Peacock, which recently was removed as a complementary perk for Xfinity subscribers. A partnership here could also be mutually beneficial, with Walmart already having a position on Peacock as one of its advertising partners.

Paramount meanwhile looks to be in a position of positive momentum so may feel that it does not need to be giving subscriptions away. Last week it revealed record streaming growth, with a total of 64 million subscribers to Paramount+ and Showtime. 

For Walmart, any deal would mark a re-entry into the video streaming space after it sold TVOD platform Vudu to NBCU’s Fandango in April 2020.

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