Walmart and Eko Announce Joint Venture to Create Interactive Storytelling for Entertainment and Retail

Walmart and Interactive Video Pioneer, Eko, to Innovate on How
Entertainment is Used to Attract and Engage Retail Customers

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Walmart Inc. announced a strategic entertainment joint
venture with Eko, a developer of interactive video technology. The joint
venture includes plans to develop original, interactive content that
will enable Walmart to connect with customers in new and more meaningful
ways, with the goal of driving deeper and more frequent engagement.

The content, which could include a range of offerings, from cooking
shows to interactive toy catalogues, will go beyond the basic
personalization available today, allowing viewers to participate in and
shape stories as they are being told. The result will be an experience
unique to each participant, creating more engaged and
emotionally-connected audiences.

The joint venture expands Walmart’s entertainment ecosystem. The
retailer already has a strong physical and digital video presence,
through stores, websites, the digital platform VUDU and the recently
launched eBook platform, Walmart eBooks, with Rakuten Kobo. This joint
venture strengthens Walmart’s continued presence in the evolving
entertainment landscape.

“Our partnership with Eko will help us accelerate efforts to deepen
relationships with customers and connect with new audiences in
innovative ways and is one part of an overall entertainment ecosystem
we’re building,” said Scott McCall, senior vice president for
entertainment, toys and seasonal, Walmart U.S. “By partnering with
organizations across the industry to create original, interactive
content, we’re bringing the next generation of entertainment to
customers and delivering memorable experiences they can only find at

Since 2010, Eko has pioneered the future of entertainment, alongside
partners like Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios. Eko has
received prior funding from Sequoia Capital, Intel Capital, Warner Music
Group, Samsung, Walmart, and others, and has more than 15 patents for
its technology. In connection with the joint venture, Walmart has agreed
to participate in Eko’s next funding round.

“The future of video entertainment is interactive, and this joint
venture is a huge step towards bringing this future to life,” said Yoni
Bloch, chief executive officer of Eko. “In 2018, all forms of media are
personalized except for live action video. At Eko, our mission is to
evolve past basic personalization and partnering with Walmart will
accelerate that evolution. We’re working alongside some of the most
creative people from Hollywood and around the world, and we invite
others to join us in making great interactive content.”

The joint venture, known as W*E Interactive Ventures, will be led by
Bloch, with input from several industry experts. Tribeca Productions
co-founder Jane Rosenthal will serve as strategic advisor. Rosenthal,
producer of films such as Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers,
About a Boy
(film and series), Wag the Dog and the upcoming
Scorsese film The Irishman, helps create a bridge for both
established and emerging artists looking for an outlet for their work.
Nancy Tellem, chief media officer and executive chairwoman of Eko, will
serve on the board of the joint venture. Prior to joining Eko, Tellem
spent more than 25 years in television including time as president of
CBS Network Television Group.

“During my career in broadcast television, I’ve seen how traditional
media has been transformed by technology and have long believed that
technology would be the key to creating more engaging entertainment
experiences,” said Nancy Tellem, executive chairman and chief media
officer of Eko. “Audiences are hungry for immersive entertainment, and
storytellers are embracing this new technology in creating a new type of
story narrative that deeply engages the viewer. Now is the time for Eko
and interactive content to take center stage.”

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and
through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers
and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27
countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of
$500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide.
Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
Walmart can be found by visiting,
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About Eko

Eko is a pioneering interactive entertainment company that lets
audiences shape stories as they unfold. Eko’s technology allows
participants to affect, control, and influence interactive entertainment
like never before. The company provides a platform for creating,
distributing and monetizing interactive stories, and partners with media
companies, independent creators and top brands to create deeply engaging
experiences for audiences. Stories are distributed through,
affiliate partners, and social networks; available on desktop, mobile
and connected devices. The company has over 15 patents for its
technology, including its proprietary player, authoring tools and
high-efficiency interactive streaming technology. Eko Studio, the
company’s suite of authoring tools, is also offered for free to
creators, enabling them to craft their own interactive experiences using
Eko’s platform.

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including the
anticipated benefits from the joint venture. Walmart believes such
statements are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, that are
intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking
statements created thereunder. Assumptions on which such forward-looking
statements are based are also forward-looking statements. Walmart’s
actual results may differ materially from the guidance provided as a
result of changes in circumstances, assumptions not being realized or
other risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risk that
the joint venture may not be successful or fully achieve the objectives
of the participants. You should read this release in conjunction with
Walmart’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31,
2018, and Walmart’s subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q
and Current Reports on Form 8-K. You should consider all of the risks,
uncertainties and other factors identified above and in those SEC
reports carefully when evaluating the forward-looking statements in this
release. Walmart cannot assure you that the future results reflected in
or implied by any such forward-looking statement will be realized or,
even if substantially realized, will have the forecasted or expected
consequences and effects. Such forward-looking statements are made as of
the date of this release, and Walmart undertakes no obligation to update
such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


This release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute
an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation
of any security in the United States or elsewhere.


Walmart Inc.
Molly Blakeman, 1-800-331-0085