Nov. 26, 2014, 4:53 AM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is suing its former vice president of IT operations Mike Kail, who left the company in August to become chief information officer at Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).
- The suit says that Kail arranged Netflix contracts with IT service companies Vistara and NetEnrich, and then pocketed commissions of 12%-15% of the monthly fees Netflix paid each company.
Nov. 25, 2014, 2:46 PM
- "Not surprisingly, billionaires reduced their energy allocations (NYSEARCA:XLE) during Q3," says Direxion, unveiling the quarterly rebalance for the iBillionaire Index (which serves as the benchmark for the IBLN ETF). Attention was instead shifted to healthcare (NYSEARCA:XLV) and materials (NYSEARCA:XLB), with companies like Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Monsanto (NYSE:MON).
- Also added to the index: TMO, GM, FB, CBS, GOOG, MAS, APD, DAL, NOV, WHR, THC, ABBV.
- Dropped from the index: AIG, MCK, CTSH, MSI, RIG, CI, APC, GPS, MSFT, CMCSA, NFLX, MHFI, WMB, ICE.
- Outlying sectors: Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY) makes up 23.33% of the iBillionaire Index vs. 11.68% for the S&P 500, and Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI) and financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) make up just 6.67% each of the index vs. 10.44 and 16.30 of the S&P 500, respectively. Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP) have zero representation in the index vs. 9.7% in the S&P 500.
- Previously: Direxion launched an ETF with iBillionaire today
Nov. 25, 2014, 9:36 AM
- Citing the recent slowdown in the U.S. streaming sub growth (as shown by the company's Q3 numbers), Stifel's Scott Devitt has downgraded Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to Hold.
- Devitt: "We view risk / reward as balanced at current prices. We also view shares as more attractive in the low-$300 range until we gain more clarity on domestic subscriber growth trajectory, all else being equal."
- He maintains a positive long-term stance on Netflix due to expectations for international success, but thinks U.S. growth concerns will remain a near-term overhang.
- Separately, Reed Hastings stated in Mexico City yesterday Netflix's Latin American ops now have ~5M subs (out of a global base of 53M), and aren't yet profitable. Hastings also admitted pirated content remains a challenge for Netflix in the region.
Nov. 24, 2014, 9:04 AM| Comment!
Nov. 21, 2014, 6:52 PM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has landed the rights to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new Tina Fey/Robert Carlock comedy about a doomsday cult survivor living in NYC, for two seasons. The show's first season (13 episodes) arrives in March.
- The show, originally set to be aired by NBC, is the first one made by Fey and Carlock since 30 Rock. Several other 30 Rock vets are also on board.
- Recent Netflix deals: Between, Adam Sandler, The Weinstein Company
Nov. 21, 2014, 10:05 AM
- The NY Post reports Amazon (AMZN +1.7%) will launch an ad-supported video service next year that won't require a Prime subscription. "The main point is to bring in more users that you can eventually up-sell to Prime, or to get to a broader audience that doesn’t want to pay for Prime," says a source.
- The WSJ reported in March Amazon was prepping a free/ad-supported streaming service, but Amazon quickly denied it had plans to do so. The Post's sources state roughly half of Amazon's Prime subscriber base (recently estimated by RBC to total 40M-50M) uses Prime Instant Video.
- Netflix (NFLX -0.7%) is off slightly on a morning the Nasdaq is up 0.7%. The company (37M U.S. subs, 53M globally) has long been contending with ad-supported streaming services from Hulu and others.
- Yesterday: Amazon reportedly prepping travel service
- Update: An Amazon spokeswoman says the company hasn't "announced any plans" for an ad-supported services, but adds it's "often experimenting with new offers and experiences for customers."
Nov. 19, 2014, 9:50 AM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) could be a target of Google in 2015, speculates CCS Insight.
- A report from the research firm also mentions Yahoo and Alibaba as potential suitors.
- If Google doesn't buy Netflix, it will launch its own video streaming service in 2015, predicts CCS.
- Shares of Netflix are up 0.5% in early action - potentially boosted by a bit of algo news headline trading.
Nov. 18, 2014, 9:41 PM
- Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN) will begin tracking TV viewership on online subscription services in December, sources tell the WSJ.
- The technology used by Nielsen to derive the ratings measurements won't require any cooperation from streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) or Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN).
- The development could help content owners compute the impact of licensing their programming and prevent them from having to negotiate in the dark.
- Related stocks: TWX, AMCX, CBS, CMCSA, DIS, FOXA, SNE, LGF, VIA, VIAB, RENT.
Nov. 18, 2014, 6:06 PM
- Netflix's (NASDAQ:NFLX) services, frequently accessed in English-speaking Australia and New Zealand using VPNs, will become legally available in the countries in March 2015. No details on pricing yet.
- Between them, Australia and New Zealand have 27M people. Netflix is just two months removed from launching in six new European markets (inc. France and Germany); it now operates in over 40 countries.
- The company's breakneck expansion pace has taken a toll on near-term profits - international contribution margin was -8.9% in Q3, and is expected to be at -24.5% in Q4. But the spending has also provided Netflix with additional scale to help finance content purchases.
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:46 PM
- Sony's (NYSE:SNE) new online TV package will price at $60 to $70 per month, estimates Re/code.
- It's a level that is twice what Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to charge for a slimmer package, although one that includes ESPN.
- Programming on the Sony streaming service will feature shows from CBS, Discovery Communications, Fox, NBC, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.
- The pitch from the Japanese media giant is that cord-cutters will be drawn in by the captivating way of accessing the content through gaming consoles. A cutting-edge discovery and recommendations service for users is also highlighted by execs.
- Regulatory watch: Potential rule changes from the FCC could level the playing field for the new streamers as they work out their content deals.
- What to watch: A fragmented pay-TV landscape could benefit content producers (DISCA, CBS, FOXA, DIS, LGF, TWX, AMCX) in the short-term as competition heats up, while creating a pricing headache for cable/satellite/telco players (CMCSA, CVC, CHTR, DISH, T, DTV, VZ, TWC).
- The Netflix factor: Many media analysts consider Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) an add-on for consumers - instead of an either/or decision with online TV.
Nov. 11, 2014, 2:45 PM
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) CFO David Wells took some Q&A at a RBC Capital Markets conference earlier today.
- The exec said the addressable U.S. market of 60M-90M subscribers in the U.S. isn't an expectation - but a target.
- He says it will take a few more quarters to draw any conclusions on price elasticity vs. subscriber growth.
- The impact of new streaming rivals only validates the value proposition of Netflix, maintains Wells. He does concede competition on the content bidding side could be a side effect.
- Netflix still controls the levers on margins. Wells wants investors to compare trailing 12-month margin rates as opposed to quarter-over-quarter.
- RBC Capital Markets 2014 Technology, Internent, Media and Telecommunications Conference webcast
Nov. 10, 2014, 10:50 AM
- In a win for net neutrality proponents, Pres. Obama is calling for the FCC to "reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act," thereby treating it as a utility subject to common-carrier regulations originally set up for wireline phone networks.
- Obama does qualify his statement by adding the FCC should forbear from "rate regulation and other [Title II] provisions less relevant to broadband services." However, he also calls for prohibitions on the blocking or throttling of legal content, and (notably) on the creation of paid-prioritization (i.e. fast lane) deals between content providers and ISPs.
- Also: Obama wants the FCC to enforce these policies for wireline and mobile networks, albeit while "recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks." Prior neutrality rules (shot down earlier this year) only covered wireline networks.
- The proposal is much more aggressive than the one recently floated by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler: He argued for regulating back-end connections between content providers and ISPs under Title II rules, but not doing so for last-mile consumer broadband connections, thus leaving the door open for paid-prioritization.
- Netflix (NFLX +1.1%), which has been vocally pushing for tougher neutrality rules as it squabbles with ISPs over peering payments, streaming speeds, and alleged throttling, has to be pleased.
Oct. 31, 2014, 12:29 PM
- In a compromise proposal that could give both ISPs and net neutrality proponents much to complain about, the FCC plans to lightly regulate consumer broadband services - they'd be classified as a "retail" service - but also tightly regulate connections between sites and ISP networks under common carrier (i.e. Title II) rules originally created for phone networks.
- The back-end rules could go over well with Netflix (NFLX +2.7%), which has reluctantly struck paid peering/interconnection deals with major ISPs to guarantee high streaming speeds. Reed Hastings has been vocally calling for tougher neutrality rules. Cogent's (CCOI +0.8%) shares tumbled after Netflix struck its first paid peering deal (with Comcast).
- The last-mile rules, however, appear to leave the door open for ISPs to charge Internet companies extra for paid priority/fast-lane access, an idea previously floated by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T recently declared they have no plans to strike fast-lane deals.
- Neutrality proponents question the ability of a hybrid proposal to withstand legal challenges. "The FCC would lose in court a third time," says Stanford law prof. Barbara van Schewick.
Oct. 29, 2014, 1:22 PM
- A bid by Aereo to be defined as a cable provider gained support from the FCC with a new proposal out this week which was described in a blog post written by Chairman Tom Wheeler.
- The agency supports "open access" for consumers to high-speed broadband delivery and the right of over-the-top firms to offer programming owned by pay-TV providers and broadcasters.
- In essence, the FCC thinks the bundled pay-TV model should be broken so that consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.
- What to watch: Though Aero isn't likely to be the ultimate pay-TV disrupter without the deep pockets to license content, the position of the FCC opens the door for other Internet video players to emerge and chips away at the bundled channels model.
- Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CMCSA, CHTR, CVC, TWC, VZ, T, NFLX.
Oct. 27, 2014, 11:53 AM
- BTIG Research is out with a new research note in which it reports that Verizon is offering FiOS customers a free year of Netflix (NFLX -1.7%) service and a $150 gift card if they sign up for the company's triple play service.
- Further review of the deal by DSLReports.com indicates the offer is limited to New York City customers for only a limited sign-up period.
- What to watch: Though the promotion isn't widespread or lasting, it indicates some capitulation from the pay-TV side on Netflix as a staple.
Oct. 24, 2014, 1:48 PM
- RBC is out with a forecast on which studios will make the most money in 2015 from selling off-network series to SVOD concerns such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Hulu.
- CBS Studios (NYSE:CBS) leads the pack at $179M, while Warner Bros. (NYSE:TWX) is expected to bring in $106M and Lion's Gate (NYSE:LGF) about $61M.
- Sony Pictures TV (NYSE:SNE), Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), and ABC Studios (NYSE:DIS) are pegged to bring in $40M-$43M.
- The overall spend of the top three streamers on older series is expected to rise 31% to $6.8B next year.
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Netflix Inc operates as an Internet television network providing TV shows & movies which include original series, documentaries & feature films. The Company has three segments namely Domestic streaming, International streaming & Domestic DVD.
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