Amazon vs. Walmart: Winning Hearts, Minds, and Eyeballs

“When times get tough, the tough go”, it is often said, but still, what better way to unwind after a long day of battling high prices and hunting for deals than sit down and enjoy some “me time” with your favorite show, movie or game.

Whether on a big-screen TV or a portable device, America’s new hobby is all about content. As such, the battle to encounter – and nurture – this new consumer habit is not only high stakes, but also highly competitive and taking place at a time when consumer discernment is increasing on price, value, convenience and fun.

But unlike major categories in the retail battleground, such as groceries, apparel, health and beauty, or housewares and furnishings, where Amazon and walmart have beaten it for years, the nascent streaming media war serves a different purpose and requires a completely different off-store mindset where shows and entertainment are part of an ever-growing package of member benefits. .


The latest twist in the burgeoning subscription war, where Amazon’s more than 200 million paying Prime subscribers are estimated to be three times larger than those using Walmart+, would have seen the underdog in talks with no less than three major media players.

As The New York Times reported this week, according to unnamed people familiar with the talks, Walmart’s potential musing on its own streaming deal to neutralize Prime Video’s growing stable of content, led it in talks with Paramount, Comcast and Disney.

Raising the stakes further, or at least the potential impact of such a deal – should it even come to fruition – is the revelation this week that Disney has now edged out Netflix and has the largest streaming media subscriber base. country with 221 million paying customers. . The fact that Disney’s streaming media portfolio also includes ESPN and Hulu cannot be overlooked or trivialized.

For those who may have missed a few episodes, Amazon’s slow and steady build of Prime Video over the years has seen steady growth and huge investment in the production and purchase of original content. Recent highlights include Amazon’s new Thursday Night Football NFL coverage as well as its $6.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios in March and its library of 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV episodes. All of this, of course, is included free for Prime members.

The cost of winning over cost

Granted, Walmart hasn’t yet officially stated how it plans to bolster its omnichannel pitch to consumers, and whether a direct fight on an entirely new front against Amazon Prime and its formidable video offering even makes sense, both economically and logistics, given the current state of the world and its business.

While analysts are sure to dig deeper into this point – and many more – when Walmart releases its second-quarter results Tuesday morning, Aug. 16, its long-term strategic goals will likely be overshadowed by rising inventory and the challenges of consumer spending. try to correct.

As it stands, since the first quarter earnings release in May, the company has issued two separate business updates over the past three months, first warning investors of deteriorating sentiment and the need to cut prices to transport goods, followed by a lowering of its earnings forecast at the end of July.

While these factors and numbers have already been digested by the market, what investors will really want to listen to to see when the CEO Doug McMillon takes the mic is how the two-month plunge in gas prices plays out with the 150 million customers who visit its store and website each week.

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About: Results from PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, UK and USA. and showed strong demand for one super multi-functional app rather than using dozens of individual apps.

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