Is Walmart the next to launch a subscription video streaming service?

Is Walmart the next to launch a subscription video streaming service? ​Walmart dominates the headlines in this week’s subscription roundup as it gets ready to battle Amazon at its own game. According to reports, Walmart is considering launching its own video subscription service. Whether it works is anybody’s guess, but it does look like Walmart and Amazon are going head-to-head once again. In other news, an Ofcom report has revealed that more people in the UK subscribe to video streaming services than traditional pay-television. Also, Netflix is looking at international markets more intently after less-than-impressive-growth in subscriptions in the second quarter. Lastly, we feature a report which highlights five things that businesses need to know about subscription billing in emerging markets.

Walmart considering its own video streaming service to rival Amazon Prime Video?

Walmart’s battle with Amazon continues to spill in to newer territories. Last month, we reported that Walmart had teamed up with Microsoft to counter Amazon Go’s checkout-free stores. According to reports, the retail giant is now planning to build its own video subscription service. If this turns out to be true, it is widely expected that Walmart may price its offering in such a way that it undercuts popular subscription streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Walmart is also said to be considering a free, ad-supported version.
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Video streaming services overtake Pay TV in the UK

Last year, BBC Director General Tony Hall acknowledged that British TV is under threat from subscription streaming services. The BBC has already merged its commercial and production arms to combat the rise of OTT subscription services, but a new Ofcom report has now confirmed the BBC’s worst fears as more viewers in the UK subscribe to video streaming services than traditional Pay TV. This marks a major shift in the UK’s viewing habits as subscribers prefer the convenience and content quality of video streaming services. The three largest OTT streaming services in the UK are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Sky’s Now TV.
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Netflix is looking at international growth after an unimpressive quarter

After months of optimism around the Netflix growth story, Wall Street analysts were in for a rude shock after the subscription service missed its subscriber targets by 1 million in the second quarter. While the numbers were not as bad as the reactions in the market suggest, it clearly indicates that Netflix may be fast approaching a saturation point in subscriber growth. Netflix is still way ahead of its peers, however it will have to keep producing stellar content and reduce subscriber churn in the international markets to keep Wall Street happy.
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Lessons for businesses targeting subscription billing in emerging markets

Many subscription businesses are looking at emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Mexico to power their next phase of growth. However, these markets come with their own unique challenges around subscription billing. While some of these challenges may be more local such as regulations and currencies, others revolve around operational and financial decisions for businesses.
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Also read: Apple Music overtakes Spotify in the US

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)
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