Walmart Should Buy Roku, Not Vizio, If It Wants to Take on Amazon





This week we learned that Walmart was in talks to buy Vizio for more than $2 billion. Reportedly Walmart wants to use Vizio to grow its advertising and to expand and compete with Amazon by way of Vizio’s free ad-supported streaming service.

If Walmart really wanted to compete with Amazon in streaming and digital, advertising on Roku TVs would be a smarter choice.

In the United States: Roku TVs account for 1 out of every 3 TVs sold; Roku is the most popular streaming player; The Roku Channel is one of the largest free ad-supported streaming services; and Roku is the largest seller of ads on Roku TVs. Purchasing Roku would put Walmart in the position to compete with Amazon.

Roku has long been seen as a possible takeover opportunity for Walmart. The issue is it would be significantly more expensive than the $2 billion rumored price for Vizio. Roku is reportedly worth $12.81 billion. Walmart is worth $455.36 billion at the time of this posting.

Walmart could buy Roku—it has the money. But would Walmart get enough from Roku to justify spending the extra $10 billion? How serious is Walmart about taking on Amazon? If it wants to dip its toes into the digital marketplace with ads and free streaming, then Vizio can help. If Walmart wants to dominate Amazon, Roku is the best bet.

For now, the question is does Walmart really want to take on Amazon in both physical and digital product arenas.

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