Streaming services are all the rage right now, and it looks like Walmart wants a piece of that action.
The retail giant is reportedly considering taking its movie streaming service Vudu to the next level, in hopes of competing with the increasingly successful original content provisions of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and upcoming ones from Disney and Apple, according to Variety.
Walmart has owned Vudu since 2010, but as of its now, it's not a subscription-based service but rather an a la carte app for buying or renting movies on smart TVs. That pay model is something the company is considering changing, possibly as soon as late 2018, by charging users around $8 per month for access to its surprisingly large library of content, which includes licensed TV shows and movies and could soon include original content as well.
Considering how successful subscription services have become — with Netflix out-muscling HBO in Emmy nominations numbers for the first time ever and commanding the load share of customers in certain overseas markets — it's not terribly surprising that the largest retailer in the United States would consider taking a step into that market space.
According to Variety, Walmart's Vudu service would most directly compete with Amazon Prime. Amazon is Walmart's main competitor in the e-commerce space, and Walmart might position Vudu as a low-cost, mainstream alternative to Prime Video, which is included as part of Amazon's larger Prime service or as an $8.99/month standalone service. It's currently unknown what Vudu would cost or what original content it would offer.
Walmart is reportedly planning to launch the service later this year. The retailer declined to comment on the report.