Walmart steps into home entertainment market with new streaming deal

Walmart Inc. has recently agreed a new streaming deal with Paramount Global, which sees the U.S. retail corporation step into the home entertainment space

The deal with Paramount Global will see the U.S. retail giant offer the Paramount+ streaming service to subscribers of the Walmart+ membership programme.

The move is part of the company’s strategy to attract customers to its Walmart+ subscription service and challenge competitors like Inc.

Walmart and Paramount agreed a 12-month deal with an exclusivity agreement to the Paramount+ Essential Plan, as well as a two-year deal that would see Walmart+ members have access to Paramount’s advert-supported streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. Walmart confirmed the deal would start in September.

Paramount+ is a direct-to-consumer digital streaming service owned by the titular mass media conglomerate. (Photo: Paramount)
Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital streaming service (Photo: Paramount)

“We know Walmart+ is providing members real value in their every day – from grocery shopping to filling up their tank and more”, said Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+.

“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. Eighty-five percent of U.S. households use streaming services and Paramount+ has the premium content and broad appeal that our members are looking for – like Walmart, they have something for everyone. We’re excited about the launch and what comes next for Walmart+”.

“Paramount has enjoyed a close relationship with Walmart for years, and Walmart customers connect with Paramount’s beloved brands, content, and characters every day through a range of consumer products available throughout Walmart stores”, said Jeff Shultz, chief strategy officer and chief business development officer, Paramount Streaming. “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. Together we will bring Walmart+ members the full breadth of Paramount+ programming”.

Walmart has enjoyed positive member growth on its Walmart+ membership programme, which launched in September 2020.

Paramount+ is a direct-to-consumer digital streaming service owned by the titular mass media conglomerate, and was launched back in 2014 under the name CBS All Access. The service offers subscribers live sports, breaking news as well as a library of series, shows and films from production studios including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures.

The sports programming offers subscribers CBS Sports events from golf to American football to basketball and more, including streaming rights for major sports properties including soccer (football) leagues around the world.

Paramount and Walmart have been described as having a longstanding business relationship, with the former having a dedicated team based in the same site of Walmart’s corporate headquarters. Walmart also sells products based on Paramount franchises including SpongeBob Squarepants, Paw Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Walmart+ follows deal with InHome

Walmart+ integration of Paramount+ follows the decision by the retailer to integrate its InHome grocery delivery service as an optional add-on with Walmart+ membership.

The decision was made to combine the two standalone memberships into one, offering a streamlined services for customers.

At the time, Walmart+ subscription was valued at $12.95 (€12.73), or $98 (€96.31) for a year’s subscription. If customers wished to add the InHome delivery service to their subscription, they would pay an extra $7 (€6.88) a month, or an extra $40 (€39.31) annually.

Walmart beats analysts expectations

Walmart surpassed predictions from analysts for earnings and revenue in the second quarter of 2022.

Sales grew more than 8% during this period, with the company’s shares increasing by more than 5% in morning trading.

Walmart has said it expects spending patterns to continue, while being aware of the current climate and its impact on revenue and earnings.

“We expect inflation to continue to influence the choices that families make and we’re adjusting to that reality so we can help them more”, CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement obtained by CNBC.

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