Netflix has become a way of life for millions, and it's believed that Walmart will soon try and compete. After Netflix set the mode for streaming services last decade, competing services from Hulu, Amazon, and HBO have achieved various levels of success. However, some other services have failed miserably.
Netflix began in 1997, and started out successfully renting DVDs by mail. In 2007, the company started their streaming service, which took off almost instantly. By 2012, Netflix started producing their own content, with Lilyhammer being their first original show. Since then, they have produced hits such as Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, 13 Reasons Why, and Stranger Things. Recently, even Barack and Michele Obama got into the action by signing a huge production deal with the company. Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes also see a future with them.
The Information (via Variety) claims that Walmart is considering introducing their own streaming service that would cost $8 per month. In addition, it's also possible the retail outlet could launch a free, ad-supported video service. The price point for the paid service would be cheaper than Netflix 's standard HD plan or Amazon Prime Video's monthly rate. Walmart actually isn't completely new to the streaming service game. In 2010, the company acquired Vudu, which offers thousands of streaming titles to buy or rent.
Walmart apparently believes that there's an opportunity to roll out a cheaper service to middle-America, especially since Netflix and Amazon are seen as being more popular with the east and west coasts of the U.S. This calculation could certainly be correct, especially if Walmart plans to offer a lot more HD (or even 4K) content. It's not known yet whether or not Walmart would offer their own original programming.
Then again, Walmart could be taking a huge risk. One of the reasons Netflix and even Amazon are so successful is because of their own original programming. Netflix itself has become so successful that it has produced declarations that it could actually kill the movie theater industry (although many would obviously disagree, as movie theaters are still making big profits). In order to succeed, Walmart must try and stand out from Netflix and others in a way that attracts subscribers rather than alienates them. However, there's still room for another streaming service, and one from Walmart could make the streaming industry even more successful than it is now.
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