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Netflix's 'Stranger Things' sets viewing record; HBO Max's Potter film scores

Jul. 03, 2022 10:04 AM ETNetflix, Inc. (NFLX), WBD, DIS, AMZNAAPL, CMCSABy: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor101 Comments

Netflix"s Stranger Things ATAS Official Screening

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment

A highly anticipated streaming showdown Memorial Day weekend between Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) ended up as more memorable for Netflix (NFLX), as a landmark supernatural series obliterated streaming ratings.

Unsurprisingly, the first batch of episodes

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Comments (101)

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ChickenBig profile picture
Just saw Intercepter (Netflix 2022 release) on NFLX, worst movie I've ever seen, yup my stock is doomed... :(
nerd_rage profile picture
@ChickenBig Every original Netflix movie is the worst movie I've ever seen.
nerd_rage profile picture
Another point in HBO Max's favor: Zaslav is axing European originals to save money:


Sounds like Zaslav will lean on Discovery in its global expansion since Discovery is already in a lot of countries and successful. Reality TV is cheap to localize.

If only we'd see some hard-nosed decision-making from NFLX to figure out where they are hemmorhaging money and put a stop to it. They axed a lot of their animation so far...
Stefan Redlich profile picture
Stranger Things is one of the most overhyped series ever. Horrible acting and the plot makes no sense either
Ted Waller profile picture
@Stefan Redlich And as we know, those things have little to do with popular success. Or maybe there's an inverse correlation.
how do people get time to watch tv/streaming anymore? I barely get enough time in a day to watch 3-4 youtube clips.
SPEND your money. Write a WILL profile picture

If your out of a job, you can.
nerd_rage profile picture
@grewalg87 As supply increases, become more selective. I bail on stuff quickly that years ago I would have watched.
Green Goblin's Dad profile picture
I have Netflix and Disney+ and own both stocks. While I love the Star Wars and Marvel series, respectively, the overall content is vastly better on Netflix.
Long Netflix.
Can I play dumb and ask if NETFLIX is still a winner if amount of total subscribers are taken into account. If X has ten and Y only has 1 shouldn't X have ten times
nerd_rage profile picture
@rfritz10 What should be taken into account: content spend (specifically on streaming, not on big-screen movies). NFLX produces a lot more than DIS for streaming, for example, so they better have more hits.

But what I notice is that when DIS makes something, it tends to be a hit, because they use franchises that people recognize. NFLX is far more scattershot, a strategy that worked okay when they had no competition but now? That's the core of their problem. They're not spending money efficiently because they don't know how to.
Maschuette profile picture
@nerd_rage i agree but i also think disney is going to burn out its content. They only have a few good sources and they are pumping them for all they are worth. Super hero movies and star wars are both overdone. I only keep their streaming service for their disney movies for the kids and the kids still prefer Netflix on average. And im a fan of all their content. It just isnt that extensive to build an entire (adult) platform.
Ted Waller profile picture
@Maschuette Interesting comment. Interesting that your kids prefer Netflix over Disney in some ways. I used to think like you that Disney Disney would flog Star Wars and superhero movies to death, but now I'm beginning to think that there's no limit to the public's appetite for them.
pat45 profile picture
Love DIS+ Obi Wan Kenobi also new Dr Strange metaverse is awesome... Gonna do some stranger things now
My stool set a record; it does not mean that is a good thing.
@Plutonius X correct, a persons record shit is different from the global steaming leader launching a hugely successful original series that sets a viewership record. Great comment.
I watch Netflix, Amazon and just canceled HBO+ after a 3 month trial I received from Samsung. HBO+ did not impress us at all. Got to say Netflix has something for everyone and we it watch a lot, Amazon too, especially Paramount + through Amazon, that had some great original series, like 1883, Mayor of Kingstown, Halo and the Joe Picket series based on the CJ Box books.
Love the concept putting all episodes on at once. If they had to have commercials, I’d pay extra to have mine commercial free or at lease have the option of fast forwarding if the technology allowed it. I once owned Netflix years ago, sold it two early after a double and a half, but that’s ok. The whole space looks two crowded, with the cost of programming going up much to fast than the companies can raise subscription fees. However, Disney looks interesting at their share price, as it is diversified with their parks, comic book franchises for movies and sports programming.
@Radcon3 there is very popular content on on HBO max. Probably content that is more popular than either Amazon or Paramount+.

Game of Thrones
Harry Potter
DC Comic Universe

That's just of few but to cite Halo which is a flop seems weird. Also Sucession and We Own This City is something you probably missed if you like those morose dramas eveyrone loves nowdays. But to each his own I guess.
@marcoyolo to each his own
Some of the stuff you mentioned is old
nerd_rage profile picture
@Radcon3 GoT, Harry Potter and DC are not "old" because they are franchises with new material being made continually. In the case of Harry Potter, they need to get away from their failed Fantastic Beasts direction and do a new series, maybe based on a new trio of kids, but JK Rowling might be goofing things up for them.

Westworld was good in the first season but after that, ugh. Well they can't all be winners.
I watched the first season of Stranger Things a few years ago and never picked it up again. Last month, I watched Season 4 episode 1 with a few of my friends and ended up going back and watching all three seasons. To be fair, none of them were that great as Season 4 and the current season really blew me away.

Now that Netflix is below 20 PE, and been holding within a channel, I think it's fair to say that now might be a decent time to pick up shares. I have opened a position and bought calls with a potential tech market rebound possible. With the most recent earnings report, it looks like they finally realized that they couldn't keep the same business model and expect the same high growth results. Luckily, they've also had surprisingly better content releases this quarter and their quick adjustment to not just cater to the "woke" crowd, regardless of how you feel about politics, will open the doors back up to more individuals to stabilize the business and give their massive library of content more available to all instead of just a few. The real question will be is how fast will these changes reflect in the balance books.

Either way, Netflix still has a dominant position in the streaming business and with the right business choices, they can move forward from this hiccup. People bash ads but it's kept companies like Hulu in the game, and ultimately getting business from people that want to pay less is better than getting no business at all. If Netflix diversifies into replay sports or something similar, that could potentially be a good model as well. There's a lot that can happen when you have the most streaming users in the world.

Good luck to all and hope your portfolio grows.
@iamWillie Sorry, will have to iterate that Netflix has the most "movie/show" streaming users in the world. Obviously Youtube crushes all other "streaming user" charts.
@iamWillie wrong Netflix still commands higher streaming hours than YouTube..number of users on YouTube are higher obviously
Adding 2 factor authentication would cut down on the password sharing BTW. Should Netflix do it?
@VillageSimpleton Netflix costs 2-3x more per subscription. The sharing is what keeps people attached.

Remove the sharing? You can get Disney, Amazon and WBD combined at lower total cost.
@VillageSimpleton allowing people to create profile passwords and pay per number of profiles would get rid of it as well and allow 2fa to be implemented.
nerd_rage profile picture
@VillageSimpleton Every time I want to watch Netflix, I have to get a code sent to my phone? Deal killer. I'd just cancel and check out AppleTV+ instead. Which I'm doing anyway...wow, the average quality is far higher than Netflix. There may be less stuff overall but since they've avoided making a lot of filler crap, the perception of quality is far higher and there's about the same amount of watchable stuff.
PonziPat profile picture
The acting in Stranger Things is on a par with my local Special school's annual Nativity play
Ted Waller profile picture
@PonziPat Did your school's play get 5 billion streaming minutes too?
nerd_rage profile picture
@Ted Waller Probably would have, if 200M people could access it at the click of a button.
Ted Waller profile picture
@nerd_rage Remind me who it was that forced those 200 million to sign up for Netflix and then forced them to watch Stranger Things.
Zeke Hilgenflotsamflopsin profile picture
Really? Stranger Things is like a mocumentary of horror films. We watched 1 episode and dropped it.
Paramount+ is a beast!
@Zeke Hilgenflotsamflopsin paramount who?
did they even make the list?
@Cgain Nielsen only tracks 6 streaming services. HBO wasn’t even one of them until recently.
@Mr Nobodi Nielsen tracks all of them. Paramount+ is too small and they asked their numbers not to be released. Still, Netflix has 6.8% overall share, HBO Max has 1%, and Paramount+ is less than 1% for sure.
Moats and Income profile picture

This is good news for NFLX for a hold opinion. Helps show possible retention of subs.

Sub growth is all that matters. WBD has much more sub growth ahead and the ability to produce material debt reduction.

That, and inflation/interest rates will continue to drag on both of these pps if they don’t grow subs…
CS15 profile picture
03 Jul. 2022
@Moats and Income yes, please get the stock price to where it was when it was spun off from ATT. Then I can sell it!
Being an investor in a couple of these streaming services, I think it’s time to change the business model.

1. The subscription cost of 15 to 19 dollars a month is way too low for the entertainment content people are getting.

2. Stop the practice of binge watching and dropping all the episodes at once, that is so foolish it shouldn’t even have to be said.

3. Start placing advertisements on these platforms.

4. The consumer when you get right down to it always wants everything for free and they want as much of it as they can get. Trying to build a business model around free or silly low monthly monthly subscription fees is absolutely foolish. The cost of these original movies and TV shows cost billions to produce, why in heaven’s name are they basically giving them away.

5. I truly believe these companies will change the way they are doing business in the near future because what they are doing now is not very profitable.
@via bull it’s high time
nerd_rage profile picture
@via bull

1. NFLX built their business by getting people used to a low low price. No going back now. If NFLX raises their prices any more, there's always AppleTV+ at $5 and Amazon is effectively free if you get it for free shipping anyway. And don't forget the plethora of free, ad-based options. If NFLX can't afford to make content for its current subscription rates, then it needs to focus its content efforts better and stop wasting so much money on disposable twaddle. 95% of what they make could vanish tomorrow and it would be no loss.

2. I'm not convinced binge vs slow drip is that much of a factor. If you want to binge-watch just wait till all the episodes are up and then subscribe. In actual practice, I can't even tell what's binge vs slow drip anymore, I'm so far behind on everything.

3. Happening already but why should I pay and watch ads when there's plenty of free, ad-supported options out there.

4. Facebook and YouTube were built on free, ad-supported. Of course they didn't allow content costs to spiral out of control because they got their users to make the content but that just gets back to the necessity of getting content costs under control.

5. NFLX is the one with the problematic business model. Maybe their model works only as long as they have no real competition, but now they do. Two business models more likely to be successful: rely on big franchise brands to make your hits more reliable and get content costs under control (DIS, WBM, PARA, AMZN) and use streaming just as a support to your real business (AMZN, AAPL).
La Marque profile picture
@via bull You are pretty much wrong on every point. It is obvious that you don't understand the consumer. If you think ads are so great, then you should be happy with all the linear re-run TV channels and the mindless reality programming on the major broadcast networks. As far as profitability goes, there will be a consolidation of streaming networks in the next few years. One or two hits don't make long term success.
Netflix is a beast.

Orignals: NFLX had 7 of the top 10 (including #1 and #2)
Aquired: NFLX had 8 of the top 10 (#1 - #8)
movies: NFLX had 5 of the top 10 (including #2 and #3)
total: NFLX had 7 of the top 10 (including #1, #2, and #3)

And for the past weeks, when everyone said netflix domination was because it doesnt include HBO max. No more excuses, nielsen now includes it. HBO didn't even have 1 original series in the top 10.

@Cgain well its the first week. don't get too cocky there. Netflix growth has also stalled considerably where HBO max is still growing.
@Cgain and when you correct these absolute numbers for geography (Netflix is quite u.s. dominant, rest of world has no long weekend)?

And when you correct these absolute numbers for Netflix having 100m extra viewers, what's the per-viewer score?

Combining that, why is Netflix shrinking when competition grows 10% in a quarter?

Some subtle hints to look into.
@Qorvos Netflix just increased price by 10%. That's why. Netflix now has ARPU of $15+ in US, while HBO shrinks to $12. In the long term, all businesses optimize for total revenue/profit, not subscriber counts.
It's strange people are still watching Stranger Things. According to a non-scientific poll of FB, no one watches it.
villageidiot profile picture
@Fatherbear yes....just like no one listened to the spice girls or nickleback, or no one sniffs coke. Amazing how you can't find anyone who admits to it, but the users are "magically" in the millions. Lol
Chris Lau profile picture
May is an eternity ago.

When you watch great HBO, Netflix, CBS material, do not confuse subscription, minutes viewed as a buy signal.

Look at the debt level and cash burn as studios increase content spend.

Happy 4th of July Pick:
@Chris Lau Memorial day weekend was one month ago, not an eternity, but inaccuracy seems to be the hallmark of your writing. A month ago was around the time of your MTSI pick, which has subsequently plummeted almost 20%. Hope you are not investing those $13 monthly SA checks in any of your recommendations.
Chris Lau profile picture
@thehip Zoom out. Unfortunately, you may not have access as a free reader.
I am confused, who cares how many people watch this stuff, these are subscription services, isn't the only important number the number of subscribers?
@Mike423 I believe it could serve as a metric for user retention. One of the many metrics, might I add. If a platform has shows that users want to watch, said users would be more likely to remain subscribed. That's just my 2 cents.
Chris Lau profile picture
@Mike423 how many people watch was previously a leading indicator in good times. Now, it is a lagging indicator.
Florida_Dreaming profile picture
@chasingrabbits If you want retention you release one episode per week not the entire season in one day, or two like Ozark and Stranger Thing was. One a week. Drag it out two to three months. The buildup will be better. Hardcore streamers will hate it but they'll live and you'll retain subs. This will be the future of streaming within one year like it or not.
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