Walmart+ giving members access to Paramount+ Essential

Business

(NewsNation) — Walmart on Monday signed a deal with Paramount to include its streaming service in the Walmart+ subscription membership package at no extra cost.

Starting in September, Walmart+ members will have access to the Paramount+ Essential Plan, including original dramas such as “1883” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” the popular kids’ show “PAW Patrol” and recent films such as “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”

“This is all part of Walmart’s attempts to rival Amazon Prime,” NewsNation business contributor Lydia Moynihan said.

Walmart+, launched in September 2020, gives members certain benefits, such as free next-day and two-day shipping on items from the company’s website, deals on fuel and a mobile contact-free checkout option.

Even with the new perk, the cost of Walmart+ will remain the same at $98 a year, or $12.95 a month. In comparison, an Amazon Prime membership costs $139 a year, or $14.99 a month, and includes the Amazon Video service, original programming and free gaming.

85% of U.S. households use streaming services and Paramount+ has the premium content and broad appeal that our members are looking for,” Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+, said in a statement.

Still, Moynihan questioned how attractive this new offering will be to consumers.

“Paramount is not in a situation where people are just itching to get their content necessarily,” she said. “It seems like a good move for both services, but I just don’t know that Paramount is going to have this must-see content that other services like Netflix or Disney have.”

Paramount+ has 43.3 million paid subscribers globally, Axios reported, compared to rival services such as Netflix and Disney, which each have more than 220 million subscribers.

Terms of the deal with New York-based Paramount Global were not disclosed.

Jeff Shultz, chief strategy officer and chief business development officer for Paramount Streaming, noted that the two companies have had a close relationship “for years.”

According to the New York Times, Paramount has a team of 13 people based in Bentonville, Arkansas, the site of Walmart’s corporate headquarters. Walmart regularly sells products based on Paramount franchises, as well.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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