Walmart Inc. and Paramount Global have partnered up to offer a free streaming bonus for subscribers of Walmart+, the big-box retailer’s shipping service.
Walmart+ members will soon get free access to stream Paramount+ content as part of a move to better compete against Amazon’s Prime membership program, according to an announcement from the retail giant.
Walmart+ will stay priced at $98 a year or $12.95 a month. Starting in September, it will include the Paramount+ Essential Plan, zero-cost shipping, and discounts on gasoline, according to the Arkansas-based brick-and-mortar retail behemoth.
In contrast, an Amazon Prime membership currently costs $139 a year, or $14.99 a month, and includes the Amazon Video service, original programming, and free gaming, among other perks.
The Paramount+ Essential Plan is an ad-included streaming package that offers a variety of original content such as “1883” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” along with the preschool franchise “PAW Patrol,” recent blockbuster films such as “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” and live sports.
The drawback to the streaming bonus is the ads.
The Paramount+ Premium plan allows users to stream commercial-free, while Paramount+ Essential offers limited commercials, according to Showtime Networks Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paramount.
Walmart has never disclosed the number of members it has signed up to Walmart+ but said on Monday that it had had monthly growth in membership since its launch in September 2020.
Neither Walmart nor New York-based Paramount Global disclosed the terms of their deal. Still, both companies are likely to see a boost in subscriber count from the partnership.
For Paramount+, increasing its subscriber base would help it stay competitive against other legacy entertainment companies that have moved to streaming. These competitors include Peacock, HBO Max, and Disney+.
Recently, Disney+ surpassed Netflix in total subscribers, dethroning the original streaming giant for the first time in history and further intensifying the streaming wars.