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Walmart thinks it can save itself from Amazon with a streaming video service

Walmart has been whining about Amazon drinking what it considers to be its milkshake for some time. Sucking cash out of the pockets of the same low-income earners that you pay just enough to keep alive is a seriously competitive business. With Amazon's online shopping dominance in North America has left Walmart’s brick-and-mortar empire only capable of making Scrooge McDuck money when it’s really Jeff Bezos money that they’re after. In an effort to top off their coffers, Walmart’s been pushing, hard, into catching up to Amazon in the area of online sales. Earlier this week, they announced a partnership with Microsoft that’ll ensure that Walmart’s online shopping experience is faster, more secure and a lot more reliable. Maybe it’ll help!

If not, plopping out yet another online video streaming service to compete against Amazon Prime video and, perhaps you’ve heard of it, a little thing called Netflix, will totally help them to make the crazy-hunting-man-because-he’s-the-most-dangerous-game cash that they’re so horny for.

From The Information (subscription required):

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Discussions are still ongoing, and the retailer may eventually decide against offering a service. But Walmart executives believe their customers, particularly in the middle of America, would be interested in a lower-cost option than what is currently available, the person said. Netflix and Amazon are seen as more popular with people on the East and West Coasts of the U.S., one of the people said.

Yeah. No matter what middle America’s viewing habits might be, or how little they opt to charge for the privilege of watching Highway to Heaven on-demand, I don’t know that I trust Walmart to pull this off. You may recall that they bought Vudu back in 2010. That worked out well. While it’s still around, the service has become an online entertainment backwater that, offers much the same, and so often less, than every other streaming video and content store out there. If they can’t get their preexisting streaming shit straight, why should anyone believe that they’ll be able to do better with some new mid-western video hotness?

More importantly, why would Walmart think that this is a path to a financial victory? $10 bucks a month for a Netflix subscription is pretty damn cheap. I'd be very interested in the sort of content that they could provide, for less.

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