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Is Walmart Prepping a Streaming-Video Rival to Netflix and Amazon?

Walmart
ERIK S. LESSER/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Retailing giant Walmart is mulling a move into the subscription VOD business — to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, according to a published report.

According to a report by The Information, citing anonymous sources, Walmart is contemplating introducing a streaming-video product with price point of $8 per month as well as launching a free, ad-supported video service.

Walmart reps didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Execs for Walmart see an opportunity to undercut Netflix and Amazon Prime Video with the $8 price point, according to The Information. (Netflix’s standard HD plan is currently $10.99 monthly.) But the report had no details on what kind of TV shows, movies or other programming might be available in a Walmart SVOD service.

Netflix and Amazon “are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S.,” according to a source cited by The Information. Walmart believes there’s an opportunity to roll out a cheaper service for consumers “in the middle of America,” per the report.

Walmart already has its foot in the digital-entertainment door. In 2010, it acquired movie-streaming service Vudu, which offers a collection of 150,00 titles to buy or rent, including in Ultra HD and Vudu’s proprietary HDX format. Two years ago, Vudu launched a free, ad-supported streaming service, “Movies On Us,” which currently offers 5,000 movies and TV shows.

Walmart may decide to not go forward with the launch of a streaming service, The Information report added.

Separately Tuesday, Walmart announced a five-year pact with Microsoft under which the retailer will standardize on Microsoft’s cloud solutions. That will include Walmart migrating a “significant portion” of its walmart.com and samsclub.com websites to the Microsoft Azure cloud-computing platform.