The stock market is officially in bear market territory after falling more than 20% over the last two months. This is not a time to panic, as bear markets have occurred numerous times in previous decades. However, this can be a good opportunity to reassess your stock holdings and think about what companies you want to own for the next 10 years.
One area I'm particularly excited about over the next decade is stocks related to the explosive demand for streaming content. We've already seen enormous growth in video streaming, but there is still so much untapped potential, particularly as streaming becomes more mainstream for other markets like audio and gaming.
Spotify: Dominating audio streaming
Shares of Spotify have not performed well since they debuted in 2018, but the latest operating results point to the stock potentially being a big winner over the long haul.
In the last quarter, growth in monthly active users accelerated for the third consecutive quarter, reaching a total of 271 million, and Spotify is still growing quickly. Revenue in the fourth quarter increased 24% year over year, driven by strong growth in both paid subscriptions and ad-supported listeners.
Spotify is well known for its music app, where it has a competitive advantage centered around its recommendation and discovery technology, in addition to creating playlists based on each user's taste. But lately, management is looking at podcasts as its next big growth opportunity. The future of radio is moving online, which is why Spotify acquired Gimlet, Anchor, and Parcast last year to position itself for growth in this burgeoning market.
More than 16% of Spotify's users engage with podcast content, but that is going to increase significantly. The company reported last quarter that podcast consumption hours surged 200% year over year and that engagement with podcasts is encouraging ad-supported listeners to try a paid subscription.
Spotify also recently announced the acquisition of The Ringer, a leader in sports, entertainment, and pop culture content. The deal puts Spotify one step closer to dominating the audio streaming market, and it's already making good progress getting there, as the latest numbers show.
Management sees enormous growth potential, which is why they are declaring 2020 "an investment year." This means investors shouldn't expect to see Spotify report deep profits this year, but revenue will continue to climb. It's only a matter of time before the market pushes this growth stock higher as the service marches toward one billion users.
Roku: Piggybacking on the growth in video streaming
Streaming has come a long way over the last decade. There are numerous companies competing in this market, including Disney, ViacomCBS, HBO, and many more. But Roku might be the single best streaming stock in the sense that it gives you broad exposure to growth happening across the streaming landscape.
Roku has differentiated itself with its operating system for TVs that allows users to see what content is available across a range of services. In 2019, one in three smart TVs sold in the U.S. was powered by Roku.
Given this flexible position, the company is experiencing explosive growth. Revenue surged 52% year over year in 2019, and Roku finished the year with active accounts climbing 36% to 36.9 million, with total streamed hours up 68% to 40.3 billion.
This momentum puts Roku in a great spot to grow its ad revenue, which is how the company monetizes its platform. Over the last 10 years, the trend of traditional advertising shifting to online search fueled Alphabet's growth. There is a similar trend now starting to take shape in streaming with TV advertising shifting online. This will help Roku sustain its rapid growth for years to come.
Huya: Top game streaming platform in China
Another attractive stock in the streaming landscape is Huya, a leader in live game streaming in China. The video game industry continued to grow last year, reaching about $150 billion in value worldwide. But the video content side of that industry, where audiences watch gameplay on sites like Amazon's Twitch or Huya in China, is growing faster than the industry overall and is already a $6.5 billion market, according to SuperData.
SuperData estimates that there are 944 million people around the world who watch game streaming content, and China has over 600 million gamers, which puts Huya in an excellent position with a massive addressable market. Millions of people tune in to these game streaming sites to watch their favorite personalities play games or to watch a live esports tournament broadcast.
Huya makes money by taking a cut of the money spent by viewers to support their favorite streamers. This generates about 95% of its revenue.
All the popular game streaming sites in the U.S. are owned by the big tech companies, so Huya is one of the few pure-play stocks for investors. In the fourth quarter, revenue surged 64% year over year to $350 million. It now has 150 million monthly active users, representing an increase of 28.8% over the year-ago quarter.
The stock has seen a lot of volatility in its two years on the market, largely driven by concerns about the economy in China and the COVID-19 outbreak. But this would be an ideal time to take advantage of depressed prices and start a position in this company that is tapping into a fast-growing segment of the gaming industry.