The agreement, which followed days of reports that the retail giant was talking with a range of potential streaming partners, was confirmed in a press release. Similar to Amazon Prime, Walmart+ offers members discounts on in-store and online purchases, groceries, gas and streaming music via Spotify. The exact number of subscribers to Walmart+ has never been disclosed but a recent report from Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley pegged it at 16 million. While that’s just a fraction of Amazon’s 200 million-plus Prime fold, Walmart has indicated it plans a long-term commitment to streaming as a driver of growth. Unlike Amazon, it is not in the content game.
In the new setup, Walmart+ will remain $98 a year ($12.95 a month), with the basic, ad-supported tier of Paramount+ included at no extra charge, a value-add of $59.
Exposure to the tens of millions of Walmart+ subscribers should give a boost to Paramount+, a rebranded and expanded version of the former CBS All Access unveiled in March 2021. As of June 30, Paramount+ had 43.3 million subscribers and has shown growth recently even as other Paramount Global streaming outlets have declined. The broader industry is facing new headwinds as even longtime category leader Netflix saw its growth stall in the first half of the year.
Spanning decades of alliances across home video and consumer products, “Paramount has enjoyed a close relationship with Walmart for years,” noted 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.”
Walmart+ SVP and GM Chris Cracchiolo said the addition of Paramount+ shows his company’s “unique ability to help members save even more and live better by delivering entertainment for less.” Paramount+ has qualities the retailer sparked to, mainly “premium content and broad appeal,” he added. “Like Walmart, they have something for everyone.”
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