March 29, 2023

Walmart looked into the streaming services field and ultimately chose Paramount Plus as a partner to bundle into its subscription service, Walmart Plus. The company hopes all those plus signs will help it compete with Amazon, its biggest rival in the “send everything under the sun straight to a customer’s home” division.

Rumors of a possible collaboration first surfaced last week when The New York Times reported that Walmart was eyeing Paramount, Comcast, and Disney as potential partners. Earlier today, The Wall Street Journal reported that a deal had been signed between Walmart and Paramount. This was followed not long after by a press release from walmart confirm the news and announce that Walmart Plus subscribers would get the “Essential” tier of Paramount Plus for free.

That means ads, but it also means an added value of $4.99 per month for Walmart Plus, which costs $12.95 per month. While Paramount Plus isn’t quite in the same league as Disney and Netflix, the streaming service, formerly called CBS All Access, has racked up its fair share of hits, including Halo, the good fight, Bada whole mess Star Trek shows and shows from Yellowstone’s burgeoning movie universe (Yellowstone self is exclusive to Peacock). Paramount Plus will also be home to Top Gun Maverickthe now the sixth highest-grossing film everwhen it transitions to streaming later this year.

That’s a healthy library of content for the service, and partnership with Walmart should help both companies better compete with Amazon, the largest shipper in the US and technically one of the largest streamers in the world. Earlier this year it claimed it had over 200 million Amazon Prime subscribers viewing that content. That’s compared to the 220 million that Netflix claims to have and the 221 million Disney claims. Paramount now has more than 56 million subscribers. Walmart didn’t disclose how many subs it had for Plus, but at least one estimate notes it as a painfully low 32 million subscribers pay for priority access to PS5s or optional extras such as direct grocery delivery to the fridge.

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It will need a few more if it hopes to fend off Amazon. Perhaps there will be some synergy in a service that offers cheaper gas and the Yellowstone spin-off 1883.