Several reports have predicted Walmart to make a move into the video rental business over the years, with the aim of succeeding the present leader at the time. Now, as per the report made by the Information website, Walmart, the colossal retail giant is planning one more shot at the business. They plan to move forward with a subscription service that will permit members to watch movies and television shows at a price below $8 monthly.
Walmart’s New Service
Reportedly, Walmart’s new service intends to take on Netflix that gives out plans between $8 and $14 per month, and Amazon.com, with its Prime Video service for $8.99 per month. More companies, including Disney, Apple, and Hulu are also competitors in the space.
A few members of the RetailWire BrainTrust were excited about the Walmart’s prospects in an online discussion last week.
EVP of the brand, strategy, and design at WD Partners, Lee Peterson said he simply loved the reality that Walmart is taking the powerful force, Amazon, very seriously. He also added, by far, America is the most competitive retailer.
Walmart is the owner of Vudu. It is an online platform that allows consumers to rent or purchase movies and TV shows on a bundle or an individual basis. The platform of Vudu also provides some free, ad-supported programming, as well. Walmart started to incorporate Vudu on walmart.com in the year 2011.
However, some members of BrainTrust were not swayed when they considered how Walmart could stand out itself in the space.
Gene Detroyer, a professor said there are over a dozen streaming services that are easy to access. Users settle on one over the other as a result of the programming even though numerous services frequently offer the same TV and movies. Another reason is the legacy connection. They have been using Netflix for years. They also settle for Amazon as a Prime member.
How then will the service of Walmart break into this competitive landscape?
Walmart’s strategy is to target its content in Middle America. As per anonymous sources who spoke with The Information website, the audience management thinks it has been largely ignored by others. Walmart is ready to invest in original content when it comes to Netflix, Amazon, etc. They are also prepared to give subscribers reasons to pay for the service in addition to or in place of the others.
CEO of Progress Retail, on RetailWire, Ray Riley said Walmart should heart on winning Amazon in whichever areas they can. He also added waging a war against Netflix that has over 100 million subscribers, not including the rest of the world making use of a friend or relative’s account and Prime Video appears indefensible.
Principal at StoreStream Metrics, Adrian Weidmann said while Walmart might skim a few businesses away from Netflix, Amazon, and others, he feels that this service will not add any more value to their brand.
In recent years, Walmart has made many investments. They have acquired Bonobos, Jet.com, Moosejaw, ModCloth, and other e-tailers that operate in the U.S.A. and abroad.
Even as Walmart has not replied to the most current reports, capturing video market’s share has been an aim of several different management teams at the retailer going back to at least 2002.
Walmart began to test an online DVD rental service, back then, to compete with Netflix that was launched in 1997 and Blockbuster, only to discontinue the program in the end.
Future of Walmart
In spite of the criticisms, a few on RetailWire’s BrainTrust foresaw the attempt made by Walmart to move into this space as sound and potentially making way for new strategic avenues.