American supermarket chain Walmart Inc is planning on setting up a subscription-based streaming service that will take on existing players such as Netflix and Amazon, American media reports said.
The service will “seek to challenge Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. by offering programming that targets Middle America, according to people familiar with the plans”, a Wall Street Journal report said. “Planning is still in the early stages and Walmart hasn’t given the project a greenlight, the people said.” A decision is likely to be taken over the next few months.
Deadline added that experienced television executive Mark Greenberg, who has previously worked with Epix, Showtime and HBO, has been approached to launch the service. Walmart will “offer a lower-priced monthly subscription than its competitors and target audiences outside of large cities”, Deadline added.
Walmart’s new venture, if it takes off, will reportedly be separate from the online film streaming service Vudu that it bought in 2010.
The next big streaming service will come from Disney in 2019. Shareholders voted in favour of Walt Disney Company’s takeover of 21st Century Fox in a $71.3 billion (approximately Rs 4.9 lakh crore) deal on Friday. The deal transfers Fox’s considerable library to Disney, including the X-Men movies, the Ice Age titles and Avatar and its upcoming sequels. “The deal also gives Disney the cable networks FX and National Geographic; a controlling stake in the streaming service Hulu, which has more than 20 million subscribers; and Star, one of India’s fastest growing media companies,” the New York Times reported. Star’s companies in India include Fox Star Studios, the producer of such hits as the Jolly LLB films, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Neerja, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, Baaghi 2 and Sanju.