Is Disney the New Netflix or Amazon?

Disney's data grab sounds familiar for watchers of Netflix and

Apr 22, 2014 at 4:20PM

Information is power. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) investors saw that on display last night as the leading streaming service's evolving recommendations engine has helped it grow to 48.35 million online subscribers.

We'll see that on display again come Thursday afternoon when (NASDAQ:AMZN) reports. It has turned its in-depth knowledge of customer transactions to offer up related picks when shoppers return to its landing page.

If Disney's (NYSE:DIS) $1 billion bet in ride reservation technology pays off, we may also eventually see FastPass+ as another instance where buying into information has paid off in a major way. Disney's new ride reservation system may seem to be all about keeping guests out of long queues so they can spend more time eating, drinking, and shopping at its theme parks, but it's ultimately about information. 

What rides are guests going on? What characters are they singling out for interactions? Guests staying at Disney's resort hotels also get charging privileges with the RFID MagicBand wristbands that they receive, arming Disney with even more personalized data. 

Disney can probably do a lot more than you think with all of this information. Let's revisit Netflix and Amazon. The recommendation engines for both sites are difference makers. One can argue that Netflix's success has come on the strength of its growing catalog of licensed content, but how do you think the service decides what shows and movies are worth paying up for? Netflix's awareness of subscriber viewing habits guides its programming decisions. It's not all that different for Amazon, where it's able to make stocking and marketplace decisions based on growing gobs of data. 

However, the real gem for all three companies is how they can use customer-specific information to improve that particular relationship. Disney will now be able to track the attractions and character interactions that you and your family ride the most, and you can be sure that the family entertainment giant will use that to market merchandise and more experiences in the future. If you keep booking Toy Story Mania and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Disney's going to assume that someone in your family is a pretty big Toy Story fan. Given the choice, do you think the House of Mouse will shy away from using those characters in pitching future park treks your way?

It's not just about the rides, of course. If you keep ordering meatless dishes at the parks, will Disney market differently under the assumption that you're a vegetarian? If your FastPass+ reservations are routinely for thrill rides, will Disney tease you with info on new coasters? Knowledge is power, and a smarter Disney will be a wealthier one.

Three stocks poised to be multibaggers
The one sure way to get wealthy is to invest in a groundbreaking company that goes on to dominate a multibillion-dollar industry. Our analysts have found multibagger stocks like Netflix time and again. And now they think they've done it again with three stock picks that they believe could generate the same type of phenomenal returns. They've revealed these picks in a new free report that you can download instantly by clicking here now.


Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information