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BizReport : Internet : October 09, 2018

Will Walmart's proposed streaming service be a game changer?

Netflix, Hulu, gaming systems, network-based streaming apps. It seems as if everyone has a streaming service, but to date retailers offering streaming services haven't caught on. So why would Walmart be looking into such a development? I chatted with Connekt's Tripp Boyle to find out.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: When other retailers (i.e. Target) have failed with streaming services, why would Walmart jump in at this point? 

Tripp Boyle, SVP, Connekt: The global subscription OTT market is expected to increase by 24% in 2018, according to eMarketer. Digital video is different than any other advertising medium in that it directly engages consumers. Walmart has the resources to spend on par with other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. It also presents Walmart with an opportunity to further engage and monetize its incredibly loyal audience base.

Kristina: We all know that video/content "on demand" is what consumers want, but what is in a service like this for brands and marketers?

Tripp: Walmart has a sensible opening for t-commerce integration through its streaming service. With the recent introduction and evolution of t-commerce, there's a big opportunity for Walmart and their brand partners to drive direct purchase of products featured in ads and content within Walmart's streaming service. Take for example, Gillette razors. If a Gillette ad is featured during content airing on the Walmart's streaming service, the commerce layer can be integrated directly into that ad and allow a viewer to click to buy razors from Walmart right from the TV spot.  

Kristina: What is Walmart bringing to the streaming service sector that other brands haven't?

Tripp: One of the biggest advantages Walmart has is its access to smart TV inventory. Approximately half the smart TV devices purchased in the U.S. are sold through Walmart. Due to the dependence that the OEMs have on Walmart to sell their devices, the retailer has the leverage to help drive users to its streaming service. For instance, they could offer the streaming service as a free trial or at a subsidized price with the purchase of certain televisions, or offer a discount on models that already have the service activated.

More about Walmart's effort from the Wall Street Journal here.

Kristina: Do you think this new venture will be a positive for Walmart?

Tripp: Walmart will have to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney, which is no easy feat. However, if they play the few cards they have right, I believe Walmart has the resources necessary through its access to TV inventory and a loyal audience base to succeed and outperform other retailers looking to enter the streaming services ring.

Tags: advertising, Connekt, ecommerce, mobile marketing, online video, streaming services, streaming trends, streaming video

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