Walmart reportedly considering streaming service to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Lawrence Kim
July 18, 2018

Almost 40% of Netflix subscribers turn up "to watch original series", Ofcom said, based on a survey of 3,324 people.

Growth has been explosive: in 2012, the year Netflix launched in the United Kingdom, subscription on-demand revenues were just £52m.

The growth in connected devices, coupled with more people having access to "superfast broadband" (24Mbps+) ISP speeds (available to 95% of United Kingdom premises and rising to 98% by the end of 2020), has helped fuel the growth in online and video-on-demand (VoD) alternatives. It is possible that Walmart is looking into launching a stand-alone ad-supported video service breaking it away from Vudu, but the way it was reported makes it sound like this would be something new that Walmart has never done before.

"Today's research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for United Kingdom television", said Ofcom CEO Sharon White.

Walmart mulls video streaming service to rival Netflix, Amazon: report
Walmart Reportedly Eyeing Low-Cost Streaming Service to Rival Netflix, Amazon

The report also shows the amount of time people spend watching broadcast television has continued to tumble since 2012, and in 2017, fell to approximately three hours on average.

By contrast, the dramatic increase in the popularity of the Silicon Valley streaming services in the United Kingdom fuelled a 28% surge to £2.3bn in what Ofcom terms online audio-visual revenues. These challenges can not be underestimated.

The Arkansas-based chain, the report suggests, may be looking to throw its sizable brand heft (and its bargain-basement price point, of course) behind a streaming platform to capture from Netflix and other established services some of the entertainment dollars it's no doubt lost in the recent past, as fewer and fewer customers walk out of its brick-and-mortar stores with DVDs and Blu-rays. Total retail music sales grew by 6% in real terms between 2016 and 2017 driven by a 38% increase in online streaming service subscriptions to £577m.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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