There's been quite a festival surrounding Netflix
I believe streaming will make DVDs obsolete. I think it will become the primary way we watch media at home, and thus become a commodity. Streaming itself is nothing unique, nor is there a barrier to entry.
When it comes to retail commodities, brand equity wins the game. I say the Epix deal is nothing more than a land-brand grab for Netflix, and I think the company vastly overpaid for what it got.
Shelling out $180 million-$200 million annually, just for the rights to stream Epix programming 90 days after it appears on pay TV, just doesn't make sense to me. Does Netflix think I'm going to cancel Epix at $9.99 monthly, and become a Netflix subscriber for $1 less a month, just to have the privilege of waiting 90 days for Epix's content? And if I don't have Epix or Netflix, will this suddenly make me rush to become a Netflix subscriber? No. Nor am I in love with the middling content Netflix has purchased from Liberty Starz
For Netflix to break even here, it would have to add almost 2 million subscribers every year on the $8.99/monthly plan, exclusively as a result of this deal. That's 50% of the subscribers Netflix added in the past year. Even if the company could track the reason why new customers sign up, Netflix has already added 4 million subscribers over the past year. I'm supposed to believe that number will increase another 50% just because of the Epix deal? No way.
I think Netflix is paying to be known as the brand name in streaming -- but that's still the move of a tipsy party animal. You don't think that Google
Sorry, but I consider this move an Epix failure for Netflix, one shareholders will regret five years from now. Given Netflix's 200% run over the past year, and the revenue challenge it faces, I believe the stock is overpriced. Investors should be selling.
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Fool contributor Matthew Brown owns shares of Google and Apple, but no other stocks mentioned in this article. He just downgraded his three-disc-per-month Netflix membership to one disc a month to save money. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.