Your next smart TV might be from the unholy alliance of Walmart and Comcast
Truly, the worst timeline.
Your next smart TV might come with Comcast branding. According to the WSJ, Comcast is in talks with Walmart to sell TVs running Comcast’s X1 software, with the retailer getting a cut of recurring revenue from Comcast.
Those TVs will likely be sold under Walmart’s own store branding, with a third-party OEM likely the manufacturer. Is this a clever play to increase the user base of Comcast’s streaming software, or simply a late entry into the crowded streaming market? We can’t say for sure, but the deal would let Comcast market nationwide, outside of the traditional coverage areas that its cable services reach.
That could even mean worldwide sales, opening up whole new markets to the Comcast name. While Amazon, Roku, and Apple are household names in the US, consumers outside of the US are more likely to use the inbuilt software on their TVs, with Samsung and Sony leading the pack.
Amazon accounts for only five percent of the device market worldwide, with Roku claiming three percent and Apple at only two percent. That’s according to data from Strategy Analytics, who found 1.14 billion streaming devices in use.
If Comcast can take advantage of Walmart’s logistical know-how, it could bring a huge reward, in a market that’s only going to increase. It’s a win for Walmart as well, adding another revenue stream without having to spend to develop its own streaming software. If this pans out, it might also mean the end of the partnership between Walmart and Roku, with Onn-branded TVs and soundbars that run Roku OS.
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