August 17, 2022
Walmart is taking a page from Amazon’s playbook and providing its Walmart+ customers streaming video content thanks to a deal with Paramount Global. Walmart+ subscribers will receive an ad-supported Paramount+ subscription as a perk. In addition to helping Walmart keep customers happy, the deal will further Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish’s stated goal of having 100 million Paramount+ subscribers by 2024. Walmart launched Walmart+ about two years ago charging $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, in exchange for free shipping with online purchases, free grocery deliveries for orders above $35 and discounted prescriptions and gas.
“Starting in September, customers who belong to the retailer’s program will get free access to an ad-supported plan on Paramount+, which includes movies and shows such as ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Paw Patrol,’ ‘The Godfather’ and ‘SpongeBob SquarePants,’” CNBC reports.
The agreement sees Walmart customers gain access to what Paramount+ terms its “essential tier,” generally offered at $4.99 per month, which includes commercials. Paramount also sells an ad-free tier for $9.99 per month, dubbed “premium.”
“With the addition of Paramount+, we are demonstrating our unique ability to help members save even more and live better by delivering entertainment for less, too,” said Walmart+ general manager Chris Cracchiolo.
Walmart has yet to share the number of subscribers it has for Walmart+, which launched in September 2020, but CNBC cites Consumer Intelligence Research Partners that “Walmart+ had 11 million customers as of July — the same as in the April,” noting that “a survey by equity research firm Morgan Stanley pegged the subscriber count higher at about 16 million members as of May.”
Walmart “is hoping all those plus signs will help it compete with Amazon, its biggest rival in the ‘ship everything under the sun directly to a customer’s home’ department,” The Verge writes, noting that “last week, The New York Times reported that Walmart was eyeing Paramount, Comcast and Disney as possible partners.”
While The Verge says Paramount+ “isn’t quite in the same league as Disney and Netflix,” it concedes that “the streaming service, formerly called CBS All Access, has built up a decent number of TV hits. Paramount+ will also be streaming home of the blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sixth-highest grossing film of all time.
“That’s a healthy library of content for the service, and partnering with Walmart should help both companies better compete with Amazon,” which is the biggest online retailer in the U.S. and among the largest streamers globally, notes The Verge.