By: Nick Gambino
Retail giant Walmart has been duking it out with Amazon for title of biggest, baddest retail outlet. Now it seems they’re going to compete with Jeff Bezos’ company on another front by building a video streaming service of their own.
Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video are considered the big 3 in the world of video streaming, but that isn’t stopping other companies like Disney and AT&T from trying to find a way into the explosive market. There are even niche streaming services that are looking to carve out a piece of the pie. The Brown Sugar app, for example, provides access to a large collection of “blaxploitation” films like Foxy Brown and Shaft.
Per a report, Walmart is currently building this streaming service as a direct rival to Netflix and Amazon. Walmart’s base is strong in middle America, an area they believe the other streaming giants aren’t really tapping into. By scooping up that demographic, they hope to get a seat at the table.
They’re also reportedly planning to offer the service at a cheaper price which would appeal to that same demo. The figure they’re mulling over, per The Information, is below $8 a month. For comparison, Netflix’s HD plan is $10.99 a month with their cheapest and most basic plan coming in at $8. Amazon charges $8.99 a month for its Prime Video service.
The Information cites sources “familiar with the situation,” so this may not actually materialize into anything. Though, it’s not hard to believe that Walmart would want in on the action. As I already said, everybody else is giving it the old college try. I’m expecting Etsy to announce their own service any day now.
Now, Walmart already owns Vudu which provides thousands of movie titles and TV series for rental or purchase. They bought the service back in 2010 for around $100 million. Vudu doesn’t currently offer endless streaming of their content as part of a monthly subscription model. So maybe they’re intending to add that feature to Vudu and will rebrand it “Walmart Video” or something more clever (maybe “WalVideo”).
Personally, I’m getting a bid tired of all of these different services vying for my $8-10 a month. It’s going to start getting expensive real soon. Let’s just bring back Blockbuster and keep it simple.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.