Netflix Is Getting All Sentimental

The holidays are here and Netflix  (NASDAQ: NFLX  )  is out with a new seasonally themed commercial

The spot takes a look at several decades of a family getting together for Christmas, told from the perspective of a tree-topper ornament. It runs through the near misses that the ornament has had over the years given the rambunctious nature of the relatives, but it ultimately closes with the family gathering around the TV to catch Forrest Gump streaming on Netflix. 

"When the McDermotts get together to watch something on Netflix, I gotta say it makes me smile," she concludes. "Then again, it's sorta painted on my face."

Netflix pitching itself as a holiday tradition may seem out of place. It obviously wasn't around during the 34-year span depicted in the commercial. Netflix didn't roll out its streaming service until 2007, and it took a bit longer than that for the platform to become available on Web-tethered devices that made the viewing process seamless on TV.

One can also argue that Netflix streaming and tradition are strange bedfellows given the limited nature of the content-licensing deals between studios and the dot-com darling. If a movie or show isn't faring well on the platform, or if the studio demands too much for a renewal, it's not beyond Netflix to pull the plug. This isn't the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS that you can count on every Christmas Eve. 

But it is clear that Netflix is growing. It's now serving up more than a billion hours of content a month. It closed out its latest quarter with 31.1 million domestic subscribers, up sharply from the 25.1 million stateside streaming accounts it watched over a year earlier. No one is even close to Netflix.  (NASDAQ: AMZN  )  would be the closest thing that Netflix has to a rival, but it's a distant competitor at best. 

The only reason that Amazon is even in contention is that it offers its streaming service at no additional cost to folks paying for expedited merchandise deliveries through Amazon Prime. It also does what Netflix has inexplicably yet to do by offering newer movies and TV show episodes on a pay-per-stream basis. But would Prime Instant Video even be the silver medalist if Amazon started charging for it as a stand-alone platform like Netflix? 

In the end, the tree-topper in the ad is probably a lot like Netflix shareholders. The stock is now nearly a seven-bagger since bottoming out two summers ago. They're on top. They're smiling. They survived the near brushes with disaster.

Amazon and Netflix are fighting it out in your living room
The future of television begins now... with an all-out $2.2 trillion media war that pits cable companies against technology giants like Amazon and Netflix. The Motley Fool's shocking video presentation reveals the secret Steve Jobs took to his grave, and explains why the only real winners are these three lesser-known power players that film your favorite shows. Click here to watch today!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2753787, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/20/2014 10:37:24 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...