Walmart's big ambitions to take on Amazon

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What Walmart wants

Since Donald Trump demanded that TikTok be sold to a US company, a growing list of companies including Microsoft, Oracle, and Netflix have been named as interested in owning the wildly popular social media app.

This week while waiting for a deal announcement, we learned a lot about one of those suitors, Walmart, and its game plan. While it still sells the most stuff, online, it trails Amazon. 

  • Walmart may never convince shoppers it's cool, despite having an especially active account on the app, Walmart saw TikTok's ecommerce toehold as a way to grow its online shopping business. Here's Lauren Johnson's breakdown of what a TikTok deal tells us about Walmart and its effort to compete with Amazon. 
  • Walmart is also trying to take on Amazon's Prime service with a copycat version that costs less and includes free delivery. 
  • But Amazon still gets as much as 90% of ad budgets, while Walmart has yet to work out some of its kinks and catch up to Amazon's sophistication.  

Still from "Chrissy's Court" on Quibi.Quibi

Streaming's overseas problem

The streaming wars are in full swing, and with four new services coming on the market this year, we're starting to see some of the absurdities. There was the Peacock promo masquerading as a "30 Rock" reunion and Quibi's confusing move to take itself to the drive-through.

But expanding overseas is crucial to winning the streaming wars, and as Ashley Rodriguez shows, legacy media companies like Disney and Warner Media face hurdles that the tech giant rivals like Netflix don't in lining up customers overseas. 

Read her analysis here.

Meanwhile, old-fashioned TV isn't faring much better. AT&T reportedly is considering selling DirecTV to make up for losses from cord-cutting.

Toby Melville/Reuters

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Other stories you should check out in media, advertising, and beyond:

  • Robinhood's PR chief is leaving the popular trading app and the company is searching for a replacement
  • Meet the 22 executives at Edelman who are leading the world's largest public-relations firm through a recession and shift to creative 
  • PR firm Weber Shandwick is helping the US Postal Service navigate mail voting controversies. Read the firm's $4 million contract with the embattled agency.
  • TikTok, Instagram's Reels, Triller, Byte, and others are battling for short-form video viewers. A new survey of 875 creators shows how they stack up among influencers.
  • Grabango is taking on Amazon Go to eliminate grocery store checkout lines and just launched its technology at a Giant Eagle store in Pittsburgh 

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