Walmart reached a deal with Paramount Global to include the Paramount+ streaming service as part of the retailing giant’s Walmart+ membership program starting in September.

The Paramount+ Essential plan, which includes ads, will be available for no extra cost to Walmart+ members. In the U.S., Paramount+ Essential is regularly $4.99/month. The Essential plan does not include local live CBS stations (available only in Paramount+ Premium, $9.99/month), but it does provide NFL and UEFA Champions League games available via separate live feeds.

The move by Walmart is intended to make Walmart+, which launched in September 2020, more competitive with Amazon’s Prime by adding a streaming-entertainment component. Walmart+ costs $12.95 per month (or $98 per year), providing subscribers with same-day delivery on more than 160,000 products. Program members also can save up to 10 cents per gallon on gas at more than 14,000 participating stations nationwide and get up to six months of Spotify Premium for free.

Paramount+ offers thousands of titles, including original dramas such as “1883” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”; recent films like “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”; live sports; and content from the media conglomerate’s CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV brands.

“Walmart customers connect with Paramount’s beloved brands, content and characters every day through a range of consumer products available throughout Walmart stores,” Jeff Shultz, chief strategy officer and chief business development officer for Paramount Streaming, said in a prepared statement. “Now, pairing Walmart’s expansive reach across the country with Paramount+’s broad and popular content that offers something for everyone is a unique opportunity to expand our partnership.”

In announcing Q2 earnings, Paramount said that Paramount+ now has 43.3 million paid customers, a net add of 3.7 million for the June quarter (including 1.2 million disconnects in Russia).

The Walmart and Paramount streaming deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Walmart does not disclose the number of Walmart+ members. According to a Morgan Stanley survey in May, the service has around 16 million members compared with about 15 million in November 2021, as cited by the Journal.

“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,” Chris Cracchiolo, SVP and general manager of Walmart+, said in a statement.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Walmart was in discussions with Paramount, Disney and Comcast (whose NBCUniversal division operates Peacock) about potential bundling deals for Walmart+.

At one time, Walmart was a player in the digital-video business through Vudu, the movie and TV rental and electronic sell-through service it had acquired in 2010 — and in 2019 Vudu even launched a slate of original shows available to stream for free. But Walmart switched gears and in 2020 sold Vudu to NBCUniversal, and Vudu is now part of Fandango.

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