Friday, August 19, 2022

Walmart+ will include Paramount+ ... but there is a down side

Starting in September, Walmart+ adds a new benefit. The Walmart service will include a subscription to Paramount+ (Essential plan) in its $98/year price.

If that sounds like a strike at Amazon Prime, that's because it probably is. Walmart+ doesn't offer as much as Amazon Prime, but this goes a ways towards changing that. Paramount+ doesn't have anywhere near the amount of video available as Amazon Prime Video has, but it still has a lot of content, and some content you can't get with Prime Video. Mainly, I'm talking about Paramount+ original content, which will show up on Prime Video eventually, just like everything else.

Amazon Prime is $140/year. Walmart+ is $98/year. That's actually a pretty good deal. By itself, the Paramount+ Essential plan is $5/month, or $50/year (two months free). That's over half the cost of Walmart+.

That means you're getting 50% more value for the price. And yes, the price will not increase, according to the news release from Walmart.

The streaming service benefit becomes yet another way Walmart is uniquely positioned to give members more for less with Walmart+, 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 subscription with an added $59 value.

"We know Walmart+ is providing members real value in their every day – from grocery shopping to filling up their tank and more," said Chris Cracchiolo, senior vice president and general manager of Walmart+. "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. Eighty-five percent of U.S. households use streaming services1 and Paramount+ has the premium content and broad appeal that our members are looking for – like Walmart, they have something for everyone. We’re excited about the launch and what comes next for Walmart+."

So, what's the down side? Well, I've not found any word on the possibility of upgrading to the Premium plan. You see, the Premium plan is the one that includes a live local CBS station feed. The NFL and a soccer league will have games available as a separate feed as part of the Essential plan, so those won't be missed. But the live local CBS feed requires the higher priced plan. And, as I said, there is nothing to be found regarding upgrading to the Premium plan.

Not that the Essential plan is bad. It's not. It's the one I would choose if I wanted a Paramount+ plan. During college football season, I often subscribe to the Paramount+ Premium ($10) plan to get SEC on CBS games. During the rest of the year, if Paramount+ comes up in my subscription rotation (read this about that), I'll subscribe to the Essential ($5) plan.

I already subscribe to Amazon+, so I'll get the added benefit in September, and that's a good thing. But, when the SEC on CBS game is one I want to watch, I'll just watch it from the antenna. Which is what I should have been doing all along. Things have a way of working out, don't they.

If you subscribe to Walmart+, you get a new benefit, and a pretty darn good one at that. If you've been on the fence about subscribing, this may push you over. Paramount+ is a good addition to one's Streaming Life, and getting it included with Walmart+ makes it even better.

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