For the longest time now, it has been a choice between Netflix (NFLX:NASDAQ) and Amazon’s Prime Video (AMZN:NASDAQ) . It hadn’t been much of a competition until Amazon started to introduce and improve their own original content. The first Amazon Prime Video was really a smattering of junk that no one else wanted, in my opinion. There was a decent documentary here and there, but nothing to keep people coming back. Netflix had the most popular shows in syndication and offered something for every member of the family. That isn’t the case anymore.
The competitive landscape, or streaming wars, officially began in early November when Disney launched their new streaming service, Disney +. They have an expanded bundle of Hulu, ESPN + and Disney + for $12.99 per month. As of this writing, there have been 41 million downloads of the Disney + app. Netflix is a proven commodity, but the Disney bundle offers three proven brand names and some of the most recognizable content makers. Comcast (CMCSA:NYSE), which reports earnings on Thursday, recently unveiled their streaming offering, “Peacock”, which will be launched in July. Comcast has three tiered pricing for their new service, from free to $9.99 per month, depending on the amount of ads you can tolerate.
If you are an avid television watcher, times have never been better than today, in terms of choice. If you are an investor looking to take advantage of the winner of the streaming wars, it’s not likely to be a zero sum game. It would seem to be reasonable to think that the Disney service offers the best programming alternative and growth opportunity. Time will tell.
Television has never been a one stop solution and never will be. One network has the NFL, one has the NBA, etc.. Needless to day, things have evolved. When I was growing up, Channel 3 had “Family Ties” , Channel 6 had “Who’s the Boss” and “Growing Pains”, Channel 17 had the Phillies and Channel 57 had reruns of “The Munsters”. Netflix has their original programming and syndicated TV and movies, as does Disney. Hulu has the same as well as live sports , and Comcast’s Peacock may look alot like Amazon Prime Video, circa 2014, when it begins. I would say that there is enough room for more than one service.
The fun all begins on Tuesday when Netflix reports its quarterly results after the bell. The company ended the third quarter with 158.3 million paid subscribers, worldwide. That will be the most analyzed number on Thursday and forever after. How many subscribers did they add? How many left to go to Disney? How many Disney patrons actually pay for the service? Can Netflix maintain their base with all of the competition here and upcoming?
The race to see who wins the most subscribers may just be the most entertaining part of it all!
This article is meant to be for informational purposes. It is written from my personal opinion. It is not meant to be investment advice, and should not be construed as such. I do not recommend buying or selling any of the stocks discussed. All investments bear risk and your on due diligence should be undertaken to determine which investments are most appropriate for you.