Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) appears to have another hit on its hands.
Despite initially unflattering critic reviews, Hemlock Grove's viewer rating averages a solid four stars out of five among the nearly 20,000 subscribers that have submitted ratings. This may not be the same 4.5-star rating that House of Cards has amassed, but it's marginally better than Lilyhammer's 3.9-star rating.
More important, Netflix has revealed that Hemlock Grove received more viewers during its debut weekend than House of Cards did when it premiered in February. Obviously there's more to success than an opening weekend, but we also can't forget that Netflix is putting out a wide variety of content across different genres. No show will have universal appeal, and most shows will find their audience.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) was touting the success of the many pilots it recently made available, but viewers may feel cheated by the mere glimpses of shows that may never be turned into complete shows. Amazon's approach is less risky than Netflix's, but it seems as if the leading video service knows what it's doing.
In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explores the significance of Hemlock Grove in the larger scheme of things.
What's in the cards for Netflix?
The tumultuous performance of Netflix shares since the summer of 2011 has caused headaches for many devoted shareholder, but the stock's been a big winner in recent months. While the company's first-mover status is often viewed as a competitive advantage, the opportunities in streaming media have brought some new, deep-pocketed rivals looking for their piece of a growing pie. Can Netflix fend off this burgeoning competition, and will its international growth aspirations really pay off? These are must-know issues for investors, which is why The Motley Fool has released a premium report on Netflix. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. The report includes a full year of updates to cover critical new developments, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.