Walmart Could Soon Have a Netflix Competitor of Its Own
The already fractured world of streaming video could have another big player on the horizon as Walmart is reportedly considering a move into the space.
The Information reports that the retailer is considering a two-pronged approach, with both a subscription and free, ad-supported video service. That would open up a new battleground between Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN), as well as have the company engage with the category leader Netflix (NFLX).
Walmart, though, seems to be aiming at its base with the service, targeting price conscious consumers and those in midwestern states.
The Walmart pay service would charge $8 per month, according to The Information. That’s almost $3 per month less than Netflix. The company also believes that while Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have strong customer bases on the east and west coast, they haven’t captured the loyalty of people in the middle of the country, who historically have been among Walmart’s strongest customers.
Walmart declined to address the reports to Fortune, citing its policy of not commenting on rumor or speculation.
While there’s no word on what sort of content the new service would provide, Walmart already owns the movie-streaming service Vudu, which has several thousand titles available for individual purchase or rental. The company bought that service in 2010 for a reported $100 million.
Walmart has long skirmished with Amazon for the title of the nation’s top retailer, but hasn’t shown a real interest in competing with Netflix. As consumer habits change, though, and interest in physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs dwindles, the company could be looking for new models to obtain recurring revenue from its customers.