To drive customer engagement and bring in shoppers, Walmart has teamed up with video content developer Eko for a joint venture dubbed W*E Interactive Ventures. The two companies will develop content such as cooking shows and toy catalogs, Reuters reported.
Walmart reportedly plans to invest $250 million in the venture, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters, but a Walmart executive did not confirm the amount to the newswire. In the past, Eko has taken in investments from the likes of Intel Capital and Sequoia Capital.
Eko CEO Yoni Bloch will head up the joint venture, Eko’s executive chairman and chief media officer, Nancy Tellem, will serve on the board and Jane Rosenthal will serve as a strategic advisor. Rosenthal produced blockbusters like “Meet The Parents” and was the former president at CBS Network Television Group.
In August, Walmart announced another partnership with the launch of its eBook service, Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, which provides customers with access to an all-new digital catalog of books in-store and online. In a blog post, Mario Pacini, general manager of entertainment at Walmart eCommerce U.S., said the eBook platform will complement its physical book assortment and offer customers an entirely new category that hasn’t been available at Walmart before.
With a $9.99 per month subscription, customers get access to Kobo’s library of more than six million titles, from The New York Times’ bestsellers to a wide variety of indie titles and children’s books.
Customers can also purchase digital book cards in 3,500 Walmart stores, where they can also purchas Kobo eReaders. Additionally, Walmart is selling the eReaders online. Walmart eBooks will be accessible through iOS and Android apps, and on Kobo eReaders.