Walmart is reportedly in discussions with Disney, Comcast and Paramount about adding a streaming component to Walmart Plus, the Amazon Prime-like membership service that offers customers free shipping for goods purchased over the internet.
According to the New York Times, the talks have occurred in "recent weeks," but it's unclear as to whether the initiative would involve a new streaming video entity or merely a re-bundling of Disney Plus, Paramount Plus and Peacock.
Also undeciphered: Any level of interest the media companies might have.
Walmart Plus is offered to consumers for $12.95 and already includes perks like a free subscription to music streaming service Spotify for six months.
As with Amazon Prime Video, Walmart is undoubtedly looking to add more value to its membership platform. It has strong relationships with the large media conglomerates dating back to the hot-selling days of DVDs back in the first half of the aughts.
Walmart has a number of current-day partnerships with these companies, including an initiative launch last year, XClass TV, to rebrand Hisense smart TVs and power them with Comcast's TVOS. Those TV's come with a subscription to Peacock Premium baked in.
However, streaming has proven tricky for Walmart. For example, the retail giant paid $100 million for TVOD service Vudu in 2010, then spent millions more in 2019 trying to add an AVOD component to the platform.
Walmart ultimately gave up on that plan a year later and sold Vudu to Comcast.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!