Walmart Wants To Get In On Streaming – Here's What That Actually Looks Like

As the world of streaming services gets increasingly crowded and consumers begin to make increasingly deliberate choices about what is actually worth subscribing to, the competition is becoming far more fierce. Netflix has suffered big stock drops this year, Peacock and Paramount+ are hemorrhaging money, Warner Bros. Discovery is completely rejecting the previous regime's plan with HBO Max. So what solutions might be available to lure in more subscribers? Walmart, oddly enough, may have a solution as a potential streaming partner.

In a recent report from the New York Times, it's revealed that Walmart is looking to get into the streaming game in a unique way. Walmart+ is a pre-existing service that offers everything from free shipping on items to gas discounts, as well as free grocery delivery. But now, the mega-company is looking to partner with a major streaming service to make the subscription more appealing. The report states that the retailer has met with executives from Paramount, Disney, and Comcast with the goal of adding a major streaming service subscription as an offering included with Walmart+, not unlike how Prime Video comes with an Amazon Prime subscription.

Disney controls Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, Paramount is home to Paramount+ and Showtime, and Comcast owns Peacock. There is no word yet on which service might win out or which media company, if any of them, has an interest in this partnership. Walmart, for its part, is said to be pondering "which movies and TV shows would add the most value to its membership bundle." One imagines that Disney+ would be the most appealing, but that's speculation on my part.

This is nothing new

On the surface, this seems like a radical way to potentially consolidate streaming subscriptions. For those looking for something along those lines, don't get your hopes up. Really, this mirrors something that has been going on for some time in the streaming game. Frequently, other subscriptions or purchases can be a pathway to free streaming. Apple offers three free months of Apple TV+ with the purchase of an Apple device, for example. T-Mobile also offers its users subscriptions to Paramount+, while Verizon has a similar deal in place for Disney+, and AT&T has a deal with HBO Max. So this is nothing new.

The fact of the matter is that many deals like this already exist and will likely continue to exist. Cable and satellite providers even started bundling streaming services to help keep people from cord-cutting. Walmart+ would not be some gigantic corporate play at streaming consolidation. Rather, it would be an extension of something we've seen for years on a large level to help make the retailer more relevant as they attempt to adapt to the digital age. That's not to say that some form of streaming consolidation won't happen. Honestly the survival of the industry in the long term may well depend on it. That's just not what's happening now with Walmart.

The upside? You may soon be able to get your groceries delivered for free and cancel your standalone Disney+ subscription. Not industry-shaking, but perhaps convenient for the right person.