Amazon Prime and Walmart+ go head-to-head for new subscribers

The news: Amazon and Walmart are taking different approaches to grow their subscriber bases.

  • Amazon is making its full Amazon Music catalog of 100 million songs available to Prime members for no additional charge, per a company announcement.
  • Walmart cut the price of its annual Walmart+ membership in half for a limited time, per a press release, in an attempt to boost sign-ups ahead of its Black Friday Deals for Days shopping event.

Amazon’s “More is Better” approach: Prime growth has largely hit a wall as membership among US households approaches saturation. Nearly two-thirds (62.2%) of US households are Prime members, per our forecast, with growth expected to hover between 2.2% and 2.8% over the next three years.

But Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime, told The Wall Street Journal that the service continues to see strong growth, especially with students. While Amazon has long courted college students with a special half-price promotion, its expanded music offering could act as an incentive to convince Gen Z consumers to sign up.

Walmart focuses on value: Unsurprisingly for a company whose motto is “Everyday low prices,” Walmart’s messaging emphasizes cost savings as it looks for ways to build its service into a viable Prime competitor.

  • In addition to its half-price promotion, Walmart is allowing members to shop its weekly Black Friday sales seven hours before everyone else.
  • While previous attempts to grow its subscriber base have produced lukewarm results at best, doubling down on value may give Walmart an opportunity to entice value-conscious consumers away from Amazon.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.

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