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's British invasion
Investors don't necessarily have fond memories of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) broadening the reach of its digital service to the U.K. and Ireland earlier this year.
Unlike earlier pushes into Canada and Latin America, the costs of rolling out its all-you-can-stream video service across the pond resulted in the company's first quarterly deficit in years. It also didn't help that Netflix was butting heads in the region with entrenched competitors doing the same thing in LOVEFiLM and BSkyB's streaming platform.
Well, on Monday Netflix revealed that it now has a million streaming subscribers in the U.K. and Ireland.
Is that enough to offset the sting of pushing Netflix into the red, something that will happen again next quarter with the company's Scandinavian expansion? Probably not. However, it does indicate that consumers continue to take a shine to Netflix even in a crowded and competitive market.
Turning a negative into a positive is always a smart move in my book.
2. Youku pads its lead
Youku.com (NYSE: YOKU ) and Tudou shareholders approved the combination of the two streaming companies this week.
The acquisition may not seem like much. Youku and Tudou may be China's two most prolific players in this niche, but traffic tracker Analysys claims that the two digital video websites combined account for less than a third of the country's streaming traffic.
This will still help the company realize $60 million a year in synergies Youku originally announced. It will also help push Youku closer to profitability, and that's something that Wall Street doesn't see happening until next year.
3. There's a Gator in your toaster
Kellogg (NYSE: K ) is giving its 50-year-old Pop-Tarts line of toaster pastries a good old college try.
The cereal giant is putting out Pop-Tarts with the mascots of five universities in frosting form.
UNC, UF, Georgia, Michigan, and Arkansas are the five schools that will be getting their own berry-flavored toaster pastries. They will be sold in each university's respective market, though out-of-town alums can always order them online when they hit stores early next month.
It's a smart move by Kellogg. It'll attract coeds to rediscover Pop-Tarts, but it's also not a coincidence that these schools reside primarily in college towns where just about everything revolves around the university.
Sweet timing, too. Kellogg is putting this out just as the new school year -- and perhaps more important, the new college football season -- is kicking off.
4. That's a lot of cars
Sirius XM Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI ) is rolling these days.
The satellite radio provider announced that it has surpassed 50 million factory vehicle installations of its Sirius or XM receivers.
It's an important number, even though it isn't really a surprise since 70% of all new cars these days come with a satellite radio receiver.
Sirius XM now has 22.9 million subscribers. Without knowing the number of cars that have been totaled or sold for scrap -- or the number of Sirius XM subscribers who have accounts that didn't originate from factory installations in cars -- it's a safe bet that there are tens of millions of dormant receivers out there.
This represents huge upside for Sirius XM. Sure, most of them are likely in cars of drivers who have cancelled or simply failed to become paying subscribers at the end of their free trials. However, as those cars make their way through the used-car market, there's always hope that the keys are handed over to new fans of premium radio.
5. Facebook gets iFaster
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) updated its iOS app on Thursday.
App updates typically aren't newsworthy, but with the attention that Facebook is getting on its ability to monetize mobile usage, the new way for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to engage with the world's leading social networking website is important.
It only helps Facebook that the move to go native -- and ditch HTML 5 -- is generating rave reviews. The new app reportedly loads content twice as fast and improves navigating through someone's news feed.
Now if only those developers can get Facebook's stock to speed up and improve... then the shareholder natives wouldn't be so restless.
Keep it coming
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