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Netflix: Madder Than Competitors

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Wouldn't you know it? Just as talk of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) facing stiff competition reaches yet another fever pitch -- including fresh rumors of music streamer Spotify entering the biz -- Reed Hastings and team today quietly posted all 13 episodes of season 5 of "Mad Men," a move that's sure to make some of the company's 30 million-plus subscribers happy.

"This show is perfect. The look is great. Characters are complex and seriously flawed. Love the way they bring historical events into the show (Kennedy assassination, riots, Vietnam)... we need season 5!" wrote one reviewer at Netflix's page for the AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX  ) hit.

"LOVE LOVE LOVE this show! My only regret is watching all 4 seasons so fast. Come on with Season 5!!" wrote another.

Their enthusiasm is understandable: "Mad Men" is a multiple Emmy award winner. (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) also carries all five seasons of the show but only for purchase. Prime members aren't permitted to stream episodes for free the way I can on Netflix.

Source: Netflix.

Hulu doesn't have an answer either, while Redbox Instant -- the still-beta streaming joint venture between Coinstar (NASDAQ: OUTR  ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) -- plans to offer movies only.

My point? Reports to the contrary, it's a relatively small (and apparently) shrinking pool of bidders for the sorts of episodic content that makes for Netflix's bread and butter. Getting more of shows like "Mad Men" helps tune and rev the earnings engine.

Not that you'd know it from the news wires. No fanfare accompanied the update. I wouldn't even be writing this were it not for an email from Netflix, which tracks my interests well enough to know that I watch "Mad Men" from time to time. (Presently, I'm going through episodes of "The West Wing.") The email was a simple reminder to check back in, which I will when time permits.

What about you? Are you a Netflix subscriber? Let us know what you think about the company and its competitors in the comments box below.

And if you're interested in tuning in to a closer view at the streaming market and Netflix's role in it, I invite you to try our brand-new premium research report. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. We're also offering a full year of updates as key news hits, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.

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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 March 27, 2013, at 12:08 AM, unclefweddy wrote:

    I actually owned the stock before I became a subscriber. I don't have TV...told the cable company what they could do with their expensive service, and snotty customer service, years ago. I thought I'd miss TV, but no, not a bit. We have TVs, and watch DVDs and VHS tapes, just no outside signal. After making so much money in the stock, I felt kind of guilty not subscribing, so I signed up.

    It's not a bad service...doesn't have a lot of the movies I'd like to watch, but it does have tons of content; I can usually find something good to watch, and the picture quality is First Rate.

    They're proud of their original content, such as the series, House of Cards, and rightfully so: House of Cards is a dynamite series. Another good series I've stumbled onto is White Collar; it's very good. Like I said, if you look around a little, you can usually find something good.

    And at $7.99 a month, with the first month free, and a no-hassle cancellation policy, it's hard to see how I could lose. It beats cable by miles.

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