By Michael Teich
Walmart thinks Netflix's content has failed to entertain Middle Americaーand the retailer's potential streaming service may hold the answer, says Wall Street Journal reporter Sarah Nassauer.
“They’re discussing programming that would target their core customer. Walmart’s customer base mirrors America, which means it skews low income, middle income,” she said on Cheddar Monday. “They see a window of opportunity to go after those types of viewers.”
To help evaluate the project, veteran TV executive Mark Greenberg has been advising Walmart for several months, Nassauer reported. Most recently, Greenberg served as chief executive of pay-television channel Epix and held senior positions at Showtime and HBO.
Nassauer said her sources believe Netflix is neglecting much of the country, and Walmart sees an major opportunity. Two-thirds of Republicans reportedly prefer Walmart over superstore rival Target. And on average, Walmart shoppers are older, more rural, and lower-income.
Reports surfaced earlier this month that Walmart is planning to launch a video-streaming service as early as the end of summer or this coming fall. According to tech website The Information, the service could be priced at less than $8 a month, below the $11 Netflix charges for a standard subscription.
The reporter who broke the story, Jessica Toonkel, told Cheddar in an interview that the likelihood of Walmart entering the streaming business will depend on the company's willingness to spend billions of dollars. Nassauer, though, said the company may not want to pay up for original content.
Netflix has said it plans to spend as much as $8 billion on its own this year, and some reports suggest it could go upwards of $12 billion.
For full interview, [click here] (https://cms.cheddar.com/videos/VmlkZW8tMjEzMjE=).