In the last year, there has been a lot of movement in the video streaming space, with new players wanting to participate in the industry to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. Last year, Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) bought into Hulu and Disney announced their intentions to launch Marvel and Lucas branded streaming services. In addition, CBS All Access made Star Trek: Discovery a streaming exclusive.
This year has not been much different, with rumors and announcements coming about a couple of new streaming services just this week. Walmart is rumored to be preparing a video streaming service under its Vudu brand. The service, which they purchased in 2010, currently serves as the company's digital distribution platform, where customers can buy or rent television shows and movies. Adding a monthly subscription service to the mix is the next natural move, but it will need a lot of work to be a success.
Of course, if this rumor is true, Walmart is going to have to renegotiate licensing deals to allow for streaming. This will be a bit of a challenge since exclusive rights have become the name of the game. Fox recently moved all of their animated shows to Hulu exclusively, and it looks like NBC is starting to move the same direction with their back catalog of live-action comedies, with 30 Rock already moving to Hulu. Movies have always suffered from exclusive deals, sometimes moving from one platform to another. Walmart will need to deal with this issue to have enough content for anyone to care. The company is also going to need to deal with the IT infrastructure needs, but their new relationship with Microsoft might be enough to handle that.
In addition to Vudu, DC Comics announced during SDCC a new streaming service called DC Universe. This service will be a bit more like CBS All Access than it is Netflix, as it is going to be company-owned content only. The intention is to make everything DC-related available in one place, whether it be a Batman feature film, the CW television shows or even comic books themselves. All of this will be made available for $7.99 per month.
In addition to the traditional syndication model we see in streaming services, we can also expect to see exclusive content. The company has confirmed its first three original live-action series: Titans, a TV-MA series, Doom PAtrol, which will be tied to the Titans series, and Swamp Thing, which will not be related to the other two.
To make the platform even more intriguing, DC wants to include the fans in the content creation process. Unlike other streaming services, DC Universe will include forums and chat room to allow fans to discuss, debate and conjecture on the content available on the platform and in the wider DC Universe. The service is planned for the end of the year, and pre-orders of a full year of service are already available.