July 28, 2018
Walmart’s secretive subscription streaming video service is reportedly targeting consumers not catered to by traditional content distributors — and at a price point below Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
The Wall Street Journal — citing sources familiar with the situation — said the pending SVOD service — which Walmart has not officially greenlighted — is working with former Epix CEO Mark Greenberg.
The executive, who helped bow multilevel (online, linear) distribution platform Epix with MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures in 2008, left last September after MGM acquired majority ownership. Greenberg previously worked at HBO and Showtime.
Specifically, Greenberg is looking at programming that would appeal to consumers living in middle America – away from traditional bi-coastal markets. Sources told The Journal the service would target viewers attracted to the short-lived “Roseanne” TV reboot.
“They’re catering to that Americana base,” said the source.
Whether Walmart plans to rival original content spending by Netflix ($8 billion), Prime Video ($5 billion) or HBO ($2.7 billion) remains to be seen. Not doing so would limit the service to licensing content already available on other OTT video services.
The platform would also operate separate from Vudu.com, the digital retail and transactional VOD service Walmart acquired in 2010.