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Does Netflix Have Anything to Worry About?

By Motley Fool Staff – Apr 23, 2018 at 8:33PM

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Huge spending on content, ambitious rivals, marketing costs that will have to rise, and, of course, the fact that people are fickle all come to mind.

In this segment from an episode of Motley Fool Answers, Robert Brokamp and Alison Southwick are joined by Matt Argersinger of Million Dollar Portfolio and Supernova as they flip through the numbers on streaming superpower Netflix (NFLX 0.13%). The amount of money it is spending on original content is massive even by Hollywood standards, and a number of other major players have been building up competing services. Thus far, though, there seems to be plenty of room at the top.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on April 17, 2018.

Alison Southwick: Let's move on to Netflix. Meanwhile over at Netflix, from what I can tell, all they are doing is plowing massive amounts of money into content creation. Is that the headline for Netflix?

Matt Argersinger: You got it right. That's essentially been Netflix's business for years. Ever since they made the transition to streaming away from the DVD by mail business, it's really been about how much cash they can generate and how much they can plow into new content [or license more content] for their library.

You can't argue about what Netflix has done. The amount of original content that Netflix has, now, is just extraordinary. It feels like only a few years ago when House of Cards came out. They had some other original content, but that was like the first big show that Netflix plowed a lot of resources into. Kevin Spacey. It was a big splash.

I don't know how much you guys use Netflix, but it feels like there's a new show on Netflix every week. Some of them are really good, and they've won a lot of awards. And as long as that's the case, then I look at Netflix with roughly 130 million global subscribers and a massive content production engine. I read that Martin Scorsese is now making a movie for them. And they've got a Lord of the Rings... Oh, that's Amazon. Sorry. See, it gets confusing!

Southwick: It does get confusing.

Argersinger: But there's a lot of talent that's gravitating toward Netflix as the platform to make shows and movies, and as long as that's the case, I can only see that subscriber number growing bigger.

Now, I mentioned Amazon. There's competition, now. Amazon's a major force, now, in doing their own content in Prime Video. YouTube -- YouTube Red. YouTube's investing a lot in original content, now, too.

Southwick: Disney's going to create its own streaming service.

Argersinger: Last week ESPN launched the ESPN app which is out there, now, and so it's got original sports programming that you couldn't find just on the networks. You mentioned Disney. And Hulu's a big force, now. Disney is going to be taking a majority stake in Hulu via the 21st Century Fox acquisition if that goes through. There's a lot of competition, now, but the nice thing about the streaming business is I feel like it's not a winner-take-all business. I feel like Netflix is going to carve out market share. Hulu's going to do that. Amazon is. And the trend toward video streaming is so strong around the globe that I think Netflix is still a long-term winner in the space, for sure.

Alison Southwick owns shares of Walt Disney. Matthew Argersinger owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. Robert Brokamp, CFP has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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