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Walmart Reportedly Reaches Deal to Add Paramount+ to Membership Program

Matt Tamanini

Last week, it was reported that retail juggernaut Walmart was looking to bulk up its Walmart+ membership service by partnering with a streaming platform. At the time, the New York Times reported that the company had been in discussions with Paramount, Disney, and Comcast about adding their respective streamers to the cadre of freebies in the Walmart bundle.

On Monday, that the big box store had officially found its partner in Paramount+, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Walmart will offer the streamer to subscribers on top of their free shipping, discounts on gas, and six-month subscription to Spotify Premium.

Walmart+ subscribers will get access to the Paramount+ Essentials plan, which is $4.99 a month. Walmart+ will remain $98 a year or $12.95 a month and include the Paramount+ Essential Plan subscription with an added $59 value.

The move is in an effort to combat the ever-expanding reach and influence of Amazon, which has reportedly amassed 200 million members worldwide to its Amazon Prime membership program, which includes access to Prime Video. Walmart+ currently costs $12.95 per month or $98 per year while Amazon Prime runs $14.99 or $139 monthly or annually. Walmart is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday, a perfect time to announce the partnership.

Earlier this month, Paramount revealed that its flagship streaming service had surpassed 43 million subscribers, which — while impressive — still trails Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and likely Prime Video (although Amazon doesn’t reveal specific subscriber data).

While the WSJ did not report how the financials of the deal between Paramount and Walmart would work, CNBC did subsequently report that Walmart subscribers would receive access to the ad-supported $4.99 per month tier and that the subscription would not be limited to six months like the Spotify one is. This is believed to be a huge boon for the fledgling streamer that has struggled to gain footing in the crowded streaming market.

The cable network also reported that Walmart will not look to add any other streaming services to its bundle.

According to the WSJ report, in May a Morgan Stanley survey estimated that Walmart+ had 16 million subscribers. When combined with Paramount+’s existing 43M customers, that would push the streamer to nearly 60M global customers.

What is interesting about the partnership is that since Walmart customers will receive access to Paramount+’s ad-supported tier, even if the retail giant doesn’t pay anything to have the streamer as part of the membership program, this should still be a substantive revenue-generating deal for Paramount as the added viewers will increase advertising rates.

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.

Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional $3/month.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time line-up, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate like the old ad-supported plan.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

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