By Kevin Wu
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is without a doubt the most dominant movie streaming platform that exists today. Very few rivals, including Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime service, can compete with Netflix in terms of infrastructure, movie selection and most importantly, worldwide subscribers.
Netflix has this market covered
To view this industry efficiently, let's look at the business models of all these services. Amazon's Prime offers streaming so long as you are an Amazon Prime subscriber. Coinstar (CSTR), which operates the popular Redbox kiosks, puts these at locations such as malls and convenient stores like 7-Elevens.
This model works pretty well since movie-lovers are able to rent their movies for a low price and can return the movie at any Redbox location. Only recently did Redbox finally add an internet streaming business model. Then there's News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) and Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Hulu, which offer advertising-based internet subscription models. But can these pose a threat to Netflix, which offers a DVD mail service as well as an internet streaming subscription business?
Netflix's first-quarter 2013 revenue projection is estimated to be roughly $1 billion. That is 1 billion dollars for the first three months of 2013. To put this in perspective, Hulu brought in a grand total of $695 million in the whole year of 2012. Redbox is estimated to bring in around $570 million for the first-quarter of 2013. While Hulu+ has over three million in paying subscribers, Netflix has over 30 million paying subscribers in the USA.
But wait, there's more
The most important asset that a company has in this industry is original content. This allows one company to differentiate itself from the rest of the group. In this regard, Netflix is much farther ahead than its competitors. While Redbox has just started going to Hollywood studios hoping to snag a deal, Netflix has already begun to distribute its new original content to its loyal customer base.
While Amazon's Prime is still in the midst of shooting four pilots all based in the comedy genre, Netflix has diversified its original content deals by putting out TV shows of various genres ranging from political drama to horror to comedy. Recently inking a deal with the Wachowski's for a science-fiction television series, Netflix is unlike all its competitors in the sense that it "greenlights" these shows without looking at a single frame of the pilot.
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix believes that by acting in this regard, the artists and everyone working on the creative side will not feel as stressful as if they were pitching this show to a typical network. Again, Netflix rides away with the lead. With respect to global expansion, Netflix again has jumped the gun and started taking market share in areas such as Sweden, Brazil, England and Canada.
Amazon's Prime has not even begun to expand internationally since the domestic operation is still in its infancy stages. The same can be said about Hulu, Redbox, and even Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) Roku and Sony's Crackle. What is sad about Netflix's competition is that the number of Netflix's DVD mail subscribers is larger than that of Hulu, Roku and Redbox streaming subscribers combined.
Here's making sense
Netflix beats its competitors in downstream traffic (time spent on streaming service), number of paying subscribers, amount of original content, expanding globally, accessibility of streaming service use, and (perhaps most important), successfully sealing exclusive streaming rights. How can you not love this stock?
(To see another SaintSense opinion on NFLX, click here.)
Disclosure: I am long NFLX. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: SaintsSense is a team of financial writers. This article was written by Kevin Wu, one of our tech analysts. We did not receive compensation for this article (other than from Seeking Alpha), and we have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.