We're not sure what kind of possibilities this could open up - perhaps a virtual greeter welcoming you through digital sliding doors upon start up - but Walmart reportedly is thinking about throwing its cap into the digital streaming fray. Brands like Amazon and Netflix, the report suggests, "are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the USA", leaving a gap in middle America that Walmart, at least in theory, could attempt to fill.
The rise and rise of subscription streaming services continues, with United Kingdom media regulator Ofcom revealing that memberships to the top three web-based video distributors (Netflix, Sky's Now TV and Amazon Prime) now outnumber legacy pay-TV subscribers in Britain. Walmart already has its foot in the door thanks to its 2010 purchase of movie streamer Vudu. However, this figure includes subscriptions to multiple on-demand services within one household: 11.1 million households (39.4%) have at least one of either Netflix, Amazon or NOW TV. The goal would be to reach consumers in the "middle of America" who don't want to pay for pricier services. A host of new shows and movies are coming to Amazon Prime Video including oldies, newbies, and originals. Additionally, Walmart is said to be considering an ad supported free tier of service. Walmart may also consider a no-cost ad-supported service, which sounds much like what Roku has with the ad-supported channels it features across its streaming devices.
It's unclear whether Walmart will actually move forward with the plan, or where the content would come from. (Netflix's standard HD plan is now $10.99 monthly.) But the report had no details on what kind of TV shows, movies or other programming might be available in a Walmart SVOD service.