A Fool Looks Back

Maybe folks don't hate Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) as much as they say they do.

The video giant announced this week that it served up 2 billion hours worth of streaming content during the fourth quarter.

Think about that.

These are 2 billion hours of premium content, since Netflix began charging for its streaming service just before the quarter began. With more than 20 million streaming members, this breaks down to roughly 30 hours of monthly streaming per subscriber. That seems like a pretty good deal for $7.99 a month. It also blows holes in the claims that Netflix doesn't have enough streaming content. Clearly, there's plenty enough for folks to continue playing and sit through 2 billion hours of Web-served movies and shows.

I realize that Netflix isn't perfect. Last year was a disaster. However, it seems as if the company isn't as loathed as some think.

Forgive and stream on, I say.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) revealed that store-level comps fell 1.2% in December. Really? Folks aren't shopping at Best Buy as much as they used to? Yep. In fact, it's been that way for more than a year already.
  • With China's Ministry of Public Safety requiring Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) and its smaller rivals to link to the country's five largest state-owned banks at the top of every search-engine page, do you think we can get stateside portals to have Fool.com links pop up whenever someone enters a search query for what will be a regrettable investing decision?
  • Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) added 540,000 net new subscribers during the fourth quarter. There are now 21.9 million satellite-radio accounts. Is it safe to say that this is not a fad and perhaps not even a transitory technology?
  • The unemployment rate fell to 8.5%. The last time that important metric was that low, it was 2009. Wait a minute. Weren't we in a recession in 2009?

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix and Baidu and writing covered calls in Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns shares of Netflix and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2012, at 2:10 PM, verenous wrote:

    I think your rite SIRI is here to stay

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2012, at 2:11 PM, zukerman wrote:

    It's now 2012, and this is the second time I've read an article you've written about Sirius that didn't end with...but. I know, you want to see the official results. It's seems odd to me how you couldn't muster some kind of elation for the fact that your shares have risen 9% this week. I trust you've sold them now. Your license to bitch has otherwise expired. You have little faith in the way the company is run so why would still hold them? Sorry, but I don't see a disclaimer at the bottom of this article. I think that it's easy to find fault in anything, after all, gold is way too heavy. I will still read your articles for the other side of things, however in the future, a little less Peter and the wolf.

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2012, at 6:34 PM, sirifire wrote:

    "Is it safe to say that this is not a fad and perhaps not even a transitory technology?"

    Come on, Rick. Are you trying to say that the 2.9 million are stupid to pay? As to discounts, everybody does that. Look at dtv, the most successful in paid tv programming and delivery. They give all new subs one year discount.

    The fact and the matter is that from now on you will only be looking forward w/r to siri. Mel delivered a huge blow to naysayers, bashers and doubting thomases.

    2011 and Q4 financial results are going to be stellar. Be prepared for siri to deliver about $780M EBIDTA and another two cents per share and over $400M fcf.

    Most importantly, get ready for fantastic 2012. There is very strong chance that Mel would overcome his own conservatism and would update, again conservatively, 2012 guidance. I expect EBIDTA at $900M or higher and 12 cents a share in 2012. Sub guidance would be probably about 1.8M due to some concern about the impact of the recent miniscule price increase.

    The company is on a roll, as I have been predicting for years in spite of incessant criticism of the company and its management. We are observing a transition of the quantity of effort into amazing quality of the product, service, company and stock. This is a mini apple in the making. Patient siri investors stand to make huge profits. Mark my word!!!

  • Report this Comment On January 07, 2012, at 6:41 PM, sirifire wrote:

    I need to apologize for the typo I made. It is not "2.9M" but rather "21.9M".

    Since we are talking about the sub growth, I will not be surprised when siri accelerates the sub acquisition pace to 3 million in 2014. My target date for 30M is 2015.

  • Report this Comment On January 09, 2012, at 4:28 PM, TMFBreakerRick wrote:

    Zukerman, I do not -- nor have I -- owned Sirius shares. I DO own shares of Liberty Capital, which owns a 40% preferred share stake in Sirius (among other Liberty Capital investments) so obviously I am somewhat confident in Sirius XM's potential.

    When you do see a "but" after a positive statement, it's only done in the spirit of providing both sides of the investing story. It would be wrong to cheer on the 540,000 net subscriber additions until we see the ARPU and SAC figures that will show to what lengths the company had to go to exceed its guidance.

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