Walmart's apparent streaming aspirations could show it's trying to beat Amazon at its own game
- Walmart is exploring a streaming offering for Walmart+ subscriptions, according to the New York Times.
- Walmart has taken steps to try to attract new customers to its subscription, putting it in direct competition with Amazon Prime.
Walmart may be taking a major step to attract new customers to its subscription service, Walmart+ — and it could be upping the ante on its competition with Amazon Prime.
The New York Times reports that Walmart has held discussions with major media companies like Paramount, Disney, and Comcast about bundling streaming entertainment into its subscription offering, citing three people with knowledge of the conversations.
Adding a streaming perk would push Walmart+ closer to a membership offering a bundle of services, similar to its rival, Amazon Prime, rather than simply a membership with shipping benefits.
Walmart declined to comment to Insider for this story.
Walmart+ launched in September 2020 as a subscription service offering free shipping, no order minimum, and discounts on fuel. However, in recent months Walmart+ has added additional perks, upping the stakes in its competition with Prime, including a free six-month trial of Spotify Premium and steeper fuel discounts.
Amazon Prime offers a wide variety of services to members in addition to free two-day shipping, including access to its Emmy-winning streaming service, Prime Video, access to Amazon's own music-streaming service, Prime Music, free grocery delivery, and other perks.
The New York Times's report says that Walmart is similarly looking to build out its subscription offering at a lower cost than Prime. A Walmart+ subscription costs $98 per year, while Amazon Prime costs $139 per year.
Walmart has not disclosed how many members belong to Walmart+, but the practice of bundling services into one single subscription has proven a successful strategy for Amazon. Last year, Amazon said that it had more than 200 million subscribers to Prime.
Amazon is not the only company to bundle services to gin up excitement and loyalty from customers, though it may take the practice further than most other major companies. For example, mobile carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, all offer free trials of streaming services with certain data plans, and Apple offers three free months of Apple TV Plus when customers buy new hardware from the company, like an iPhone or Mac computer.
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