Walmart’s new deal with Paramount offers streaming for members

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is offering customers the opportunity to stream movies and television with a new benefit for those who take part in its membership program.

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Starting in September, Walmart+ members will be given access to a Paramount+ Essential Plan, offering access to content on the streaming platform, Walmart said in a news release. Paramount+ features content ranging from “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” to “PAW Patrol,” “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” and live sports.

“Eighty-five percent of U.S. households use streaming services and Paramount+ has the premium content and broad appeal that our members are looking for — like Walmart, they have something for everyone,” Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+, said in a statement. “We’re excited about the launch and what comes next for Walmart+.”

Walmart introduced Walmart+ in 2020. The program includes free shipping for orders placed online and discounts for gas, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Walmart+ costs $12.95 per month or $98 annually, and will now include Paramount+, which would typically cost $4.99 per month with commercials, CNBC reported. Paramount+ also offers a premium streaming tier that does not include ads and costs $9.99 per month.

Walmart has looked to its new membership program to compete with Amazon Prime, which also offers free shipping, as well as video and music streaming services, Reuters reported. Amazon Prime membership costs $14.99 per month or $139 annually.

The deal between Paramount and Walmart includes a 12-month exclusivity agreement and a two-year deal that gives Walmart’s customers access to the ad-supported tier of the streaming service, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Paramount and Walmart’s businesses have been linked historically. Paramount has a site with 13 employees based in Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart’s corporate headquarters is based, The New York Times reported. The retail giant also sells many products derived from Paramount shows, including PAW Patrol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob SquarePants.

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