If you are a Walmart+ subscriber, your package just added a rather nice sweetener in the form of a free Paramount+ Essential subscription.
Walmart has entered the fray but is playing it relatively safe. Instead of jumping in with a massive investment into a new streaming service or buying an existing service, Walmart has taken a safer direction.
That direction consists of providing Walmart+ members with an added bonus — a Paramount+ Essential subscription at no extra cost. Walmart+ members will be able to stream premium entertainment as a benefit for the first time as part of their membership starting in September 2022.
The Paramount+ Essential Plan will give Walmart+ members access to Paramount+’s breadth of hugely popular content from acclaimed original dramas such as “1883” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” (Paramount+ is home to all things Star Trek) to the world’s most popular preschool franchise, “PAW Patrol,” to recent blockbuster films such as “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” to live sports.
Also, although no timeline has been announced, it is expected that “Top Gun: Maverick” (also a Paramount property) will eventually become available on the service (after its theatrical run ends and has been made available for digital purchase/rental, and disc).
Tip: Paramount+ Essential content contains periodic ads.
Walmart+ is a membership plan that provides members shopping discounts and benefits, whether in-store, at the gas pump, on groceries, listening to music, and now when watching their favorite movies and shows. Walmart+ will remain $98 a year or $12.95 a month and include the Paramount+ Essential Plan for no extra charge (The value of this benefit is listed as having a value of $59 per year.
From Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president, and general manager of Walmart+: “We know Walmart+ is providing members real value every day – from grocery shopping to fill up their tank and more,…With the addition of Paramount+, we are demonstrating our unique ability to help members save even more and live better by delivering entertainment for less, too”.
Walmart and Paramount+ both benefit from this arrangement as Walmart limits its financial exposure in the streaming wars, and Paramount+ gets access to more subscribers.
More On Paramount+
Paramount+ is a digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, that combines live sports, breaking news, and, movie/show entertainment.
The service includes a library of original series, hit shows, and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and the Smithsonian Channel.
The service is also the streaming home to lots of sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues.
Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream CBS News Streaming Network for 24/7 news and CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis.
If you are not a Walmart+ member, here is how the pricing of Paramount+ works if subscribe to it separately.
Essential: This plan is $4.99/month (or $49.99 per year) and includes periodic ads. The Essential plan does NOT include local live CBS stations, but NFL on CBS and UEFA Champions League will be available via separate live feeds.
Premium: This plan is $9.99/month ($99.99/year). The Premium plan DOES include your local live CBS station. Live TV streams have commercials, and a few shows include brief promotional interruptions to keep you in the loop on new and upcoming Paramount+ programming.
Tip: Paramount+ has 43 million subscribers as of the end of Q2 2022, the agreement with Walmart is expected to add to those numbers.
Note: The Paramount+ agreement isn’t the first time Walmart has been involved with streaming. The retail giant previously owned video-on-demand rental, purchase, and streaming service Vudu, which they sold to NBC Universal in 2020.
Related reading: Does it make sense to drop your cable subscription?