Retail giants Costco, Walmart making their way into streaming video

Costco
Costco is reportedly looking into streaming video as a perk for its members. (Mike Mozart/CC BY 2.0)

With e-commerce behemoth Amazon having long made streaming video a cornerstone of its Prime membership, it only makes sense that brick-and-mortar retailers would eventually follow suit.

Wholesale outpost Costco is now rumored to be getting into the streaming video market. According to The Information, the retailer has had talks with numerous existing streaming video services about potentially offering their products for free to Costco “executive” members. Costco has also reportedly looked into launching its on-demand streaming service to offer as a perk for its members.

A plan like that from Costco doesn’t seem so outlandish, particularly when considered alongside the deepening video aspirations for fellow retailer Walmart.

In the past week, Walmart has made two significant moves with respect to its streaming video strategy. Last week, the company revealed that its Vudu streaming service would begin offering original content through a partnership with MGM. The shows will be exclusive to Vudu’s ad-supported platform, according to Variety.

RELATED: Vudu launches ad-supported movie service… and another OTT threat for cable networks

Walmart also said it has plans to launch “shoppable” ads for its Movies On Us streaming service. Those ads would direct viewers to Walmart.com.

This week, Walmart announced a strategic entertainment joint venture with Eko, a developer of interactive video technology. The content, which will range from cooking shows to interactive toy catalogs, will let viewers “participate in and shape stories as they are being told.”

“Our partnership with Eko will help us accelerate efforts to deepen relationships with customers and connect with new audiences in innovative ways and is one part of an overall entertainment ecosystem we’re building,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president for entertainment, toys and seasonal for Walmart U.S., in a statement. “By partnering with organizations across the industry to create original, interactive content, we’re bringing the next generation of entertainment to customers and delivering memorable experiences they can only find at Walmart.”

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