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. While the venture would be expensive, it could potentially aid Walmart in its ongoing battle against Amazon, which has taken a bite out of the profits of many brick-and-mortar retailers.
According to the Media Nations report, subscriptions to the leading OTT services - Netflix, Amazon and Sky's Now TV - reached 15.4 million in the first quarter of this year, exceeding the total for pay TV - 15.1 million - for the first time. Within this, subscription on-demand revenues - mainly viewers paying for Netflix and Amazon - leapt by 38% to nearly £900m.
The Information notes that a streaming service can be a money maker, but it's also expensive to set up and acquire content. Walmart already operates Vudu, but that service boasts only 100,000 titles and hasn't caught on like its streaming rivals. The streaming service Hulu offers ad-free subscriptions, though more basic plans include commercials and ads. Walmart is said to be aiming for $8 per month with its service, but it could end up even cheaper.More news: Chelsea consider shock move to re-sign club legend
We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programmes by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants. As usual with Walmart, the company would compete on price, streaming movies and television shows for $8 per month, which is less than the amount charged by the others.
Walmart for some time now has had their Vudu streaming service. Findings from Nielsen revealed that people watch old shows, like "Friends" or "The Office", 80 percent of the time and only watch new original content 20 percent of the time, according to MediaVillage, which first shared the data.