Update, Monday, August 15, 2022: It’s official! A report from The Wall Street Journal confirmed that Walmart and Paramount Global have struck a deal to provide Paramount+ as a perk for subscribers of the retailer’s membership program, Walmart+. The price of the membership (currently $12.95 a month) won’t go up, and subscribers will get access to Paramount+ Essential, its ad-supported programming tier, in September. More details may be revealed as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, August 16, during Walmart’s quarterly earnings call.
Original story follows.
Everybody wants a plus by their name, huh. Well, how about two pluses? Walmart wants to expand its retail empire into streaming by crafting a deal with the likes of Disney+, Paramount+, or Peacock (sadly, plus-less) to add to its current customer membership, which is called … guess, I dare you. Okay, yes: It’s Walmart+. Per the New York Times, Walmart has been holding court with executives from each of the streamers’ parent companies to find the right fit — though the Times did mention that “it is unclear whether any of the streaming companies are inclined to reach a deal with Walmart.”
And if you, like me, have found out about Walmart+ for the first time and are wondering what it is, the membership is currently $12.95 a month for saving on gas, free shipping, and more, including a six-month subscription to Spotify. It’s slightly akin to Amazon Prime’s membership, which the Times points out is a main blueprint for Walmart’s strategy here, along with the deals mobile carriers, like Verizon and AT&T, have made with streamers like Disney+ and HBO Max. The retailer dipped its toe into digital entertainment with its purchase of Vudu many years ago, but Walmart sold the service to Comcast’s Fandango in 2020. Maybe the second try is the charm. After all, it’s only a matter of time before Target launches Target+, or +arge+.