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Walmart to enter OTT segment, poses direct challenge to Netflix, Amazon Prime


It is going to be all-out war in video streaming. The offline retail giant Walmart is planning to launch a video streaming platform, giving a direct competition to Amazon Prime and Netflix.

Walmart, which already provides a video-on-demand platform Vudu for Hollywood movies and TV, wants to mature from the phase and provide Netflix and Amazon Prime kind of platform for a price of $8, much lower than would-be rivals.

The world retail giant will initially introduce the service in the U.S. and only in a selected region — middle America.

Experts say that Walmart is aggressively following the market trend and changing itself as per consumer requirements. Original programming is expensive, but Walmart isn’t afraid to spend money to ensure it remains competitive with Amazon.

The India connection

As per estimates, the Indian over-the-top (OTT) content market is currently valued at $280 million with nearly 100 million subscribers, and it is poised to grow at 35 per cent year-on-year.

In the past few years, a host of platforms have launched OTT platforms in the country. Hotstar, Voot, Amazon Prime Video, Sony Liv, and Netflix are the top such companies.

As of late December last year, Hotstar had monthly active subscribers base of 75 million, according to Counterpoint.

Voot was the second largest player with 22 million monthly subscriber base. Besides, Amazon, Sony Liv, and Netflix had registered monthly subscriber base of 11 million, 5 million, and 5 million, respectively.

Walmart sees India as the next biggest growth destination. Recently, it spent $16 billion to buy Indian e-commerce site Flipkart. The acquisition of the Indian e-commerce major was to get a direct foothold in the Indian online market.

At a time, when all the big companies are launching OTT platforms, it will be unwise for a company like Walmart to not delve into the segment.

The Arkansas-based retail company, which must be closely following the Indian streaming market, will soon launch the service in India when it sees its rival Amazon growing leaps and bounds in the content streaming space.

The development was first reported by The Information.

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