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Aluma: Retail Consumer Membership Services Leaning on Video Streaming

Aluma: Retail Consumer Membership Services Leaning on Video Streaming

Big box retail’s subscription and non-subscription membership programs are being driven by video streaming, according to new data from Aluma Insights.

With Amazon pioneering Prime membership platform offering subs free shipping and grocery delivery, the included free access to video, music and audio books has prompted rivals Walmart and Target to bow proprietary platforms that include third-party entertainment options.

Walmart+ includes free access to Paramount+, with an additional link to ad-supported Pluto TV. Target’s branded loyalty program Target Circle includes six months of free access to Apple TV+.

“Both Amazon and Walmart are leaning into streaming video services to boost the value of membership, and for good reason,” Douglas Montgomery, senior analyst at Aluma, said in a statement.

Prime Video currently targets about 70 million U.S. subscription streaming VOD households, eight times the reach of Walmart’s 8.7 million SVOD households, according to Aluma.

“While Paramount+ is a good first step for Walmart’s membership bundle, it needs to be followed up with similar SVOD additions,” Montgomery said. “Unlike Amazon, Walmart doesn’t offer its own SVOD service, so competitive providers may be more comfortable bundling with it.”

The analyst suggests Target and Best Buy could move toward a subscription-based membership platform, which would then include third-party SVOD services. Best Buy, which recently inked a deal with Roku making the latter’s streaming devices available at the consumer electronics stores, in addition to original content on The Roku Channel, years ago offered consumer access to digital movies and music through CinemaNow and Napster, respectively.

“With SVOD now used in roughly 85% of U.S. households, there are more options for content partners, plus most of the top 10 SVOD services are experiencing or will soon experience domestic saturation, making them more amenable to such partnerships,” Montgomery said.

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