Sony Corp. Wants to Know: Will You Watch Movies With Ads?

A new deal with NBCUniversal will bring 140 movies to Sony Corp.'s Crackle streaming service, but you'll have to tolerate ads to get the titles.

Apr 8, 2014 at 6:15PM

Soon you'll be able to stream more movies. Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) has struck a deal to bring more than 140 Universal Pictures movies to its Crackle streaming service. There's just one catch: You'll have to bear with ads if you want to watch. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

Crackle is to Sony what Hulu is to Walt Disney, Twenty-First Century Fox, and Comcast. The difference? Whereas Hulu tends to focus on TV shows, Crackle tends to broadcast Sony Pictures movies and internally produced originals, such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

With the NBCUniversal deal, Crackle expands its streaming footprint. But the expansion isn't without risk, Tim says. Crackle is entirely free and ad-supported, which means if you tune in to watch the Miami Vice or King Kong reboots, or Academy Award-winning biopic Ray, you'll need to bear with ads -- just as you would watching on broadcast TV.

Tim doesn't believe that's a workable strategy. Why? Viewers have become accustomed to uninterrupted, ad-free viewing of long-form streamed content. Netflix and similar pay-TV services have made sure of that.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you expect the NBCUniversal deal to help Crackle and Sony? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know what you think, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Sony stock at current prices.

Will you be among the few to profit when Hollywood's business model falls apart?
Sony's ongoing experiment with Crackle is emblematic of a wider shift in the entertainment business, and three companies you can invest in right now are poised to claim the lion's share of the $2.2 trillion that's up for grabs. Are you bold enough to bet on them? Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple


Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google (A and C shares), Netflix, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Google (A and C shares), Netflix, and Walt Disney. 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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