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The Motley Fool has a piece about how Costco seems to continue to believe that launching its own free video streaming service “could build additional value into its warehouse club membership.” Such a plan appears to still be “on the drawing board for Costco,” but Motley Fool is unimpressed, saying that “Costco investors would be better off if it shelved its plans … There's nothing Costco can bring to the table that will improve upon what's already in the marketplace, but it can damage its own finances by doing so.”

Here’s the analysis: “There is certainly no shortage of streaming outlets to choose from. Beyond and Netflix, consumers can also select services from Roku, Hulu, SlingTV, and YouTube TV. And more will be coming soon. Disney is launching Disney+ this year;  AT&T, Comcast, and Apple are considering their own services; and Elon Musk even has dreams of streaming from space. Discovery also keeps teasing one.”

Beyond that, Walmart - recognizing reality - recently decided against launching one that would exist in tandem with its existing Vudu service.
KC's View:
One of the observations that Motley Fool makes about the streaming business is that providers such as Amazon and Netflix have differentiated themselves not by streaming other people’s movies, but by producing and acquiring content that nobody else has … it is with originals that they attract customers.

Unless companies such as Walmart and Costco want to get into that business, the upside may be limited.

Short of that, you have to have a strong and direct pipeline to a context provider. One example, Disney, which said this week that when its still-to-be released Captain Marvel eventually is available for home viewing, it will only be available on Disney+, and not on Netflix. (Captain Marvel is expected to be an enormous blockbuster, so this is a big deal … and a line drawn in the sand.)

This is all going to force a lot of home viewers to make choices … and I guarantee it’ll annoy a lot of people. Will that mean a shakeout at some point? Maybe. But it also suggests that pipelines may et a lot more narrow, which will create some challenges for new players in the streaming business.