Rumor mill: Following yesterday’s announcement that Microsoft and Walmart have formed a strategic partnership to take on Amazon, a new report claims the brick-and-mortar retailer could give Jeff Bezos something else to worry about: a streaming service that’s cheaper than rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
The Information, which cites people familiar with the plans, reports that Walmart is considering ways it can stand out in the crowded streaming video market. One option is to undercut the competition. Netflix’s top plan is currently priced at $14 per month, though that may soon change, while Amazon Prime Video is $8.99 per month. Walmart is said to be aiming for $8 per month with its service, but it could end up even cheaper.
Walmart is also considering offering a free tier of its video streaming service that would come with ads. Whether this would have less content than the paid-for version is unclear.
The Information’s source says Netflix and Amazon “are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the US.” Walmart believes a cheaper option could be popular among customers “in the middle of America.”
Walmart acquired on-demand video service Vudu in 2010. While not able to compete with the industry’s big hitters, it offers thousands of movies to buy and rent, and the ad-supported ‘Movies on Us’ lets users watch certain titles for free.
Walmart’s service is still only under consideration; there’s no guarantee it will ever become an actual product. If it does, the extra competition could pose more problems for Netflix. The streaming king’s shares fell 14 percent this week after it missed quarterly subscriber and revenue expectations.