If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Netflix fights back
You didn't think that Netflix
The video buffet operator is starting the year on a positive note. It kicked off 2012 by rolling out a trailer for Lilyhammer, the first original series that will initially air exclusively through Netflix streaming next month. Then Netflix issued a press release to let the world know that it served up 2 billion hours of video streaming during the final quarter of 2011.
That's a lot of content, averaging out to less than 100 hours for each of its more than 20 million streaming subscribers during the last three months of the year.
This is important. Incensed users were swearing off the service in September after the Qwikster fiasco and the price hike for folks on dual plans. It's pretty clear that streaming does matter to its audience of Web-tethered couch potatoes.
2. Sirius growth
When Sirius XM Radio
Well, Sirius XM made it -- with 100,000 more new accounts to spare.
The satellite radio provider closed out 2011 with 21.9 million subscribers, 1.7 million ahead of where it was a year earlier. This is the most subscribers that the combined services have tacked on since 2007.
We still don't know if Sirius XM had to offer ridiculous deals to keep churn in check or if it had to pay through the nose to acquire new members. The average revenue per user and gross subscriber acquisition costs will be revealed a month from now, when Sirius XM files its fourth quarter. However, the preliminary headcount is impressive.
3. There's nothing wrong with fizzy lemonade
The fast-growing pop star is in a deal with Kraft that will result in new SodaStream flavors based on Kraft's Crystal Light drink mix and Country Time lemonade. These aren't beverage brands that folks normally associate with carbonated refreshments, but it should help increase SodaStream's visibility and possibly provide wider retail distribution given Kraft's clout with grocers.
4. Ramming the bus
It was a strong holiday quarter for Rambus
The patent-rich technology licensing company is now expecting revenue of approximately $83 million for the quarter that ended in last week. Rambus' previous guidance called for revenue to clock in between $66 million and $71 million.
The company didn't issue a bottom-line outlook in this week's welcome update, but given the high-margin nature of Rambus' revenue streams, it should have meaty implications.
5. Ma Bell is going to pay
In another legal victory, TiVo
AT&T will shell out at least $215 million to TiVo, part of a settlement that settles the score for AT&T's neglect of TiVo's patents with its DVR receivers and covers licensing rights for the future.
TiVo's flagship business of servicing DVR subscribers may have softened in recent years, but there's clearly a market for TiVo's juicy patents. This is the second nine-figure settlement in as many years for TiVo.