As the streaming video race heats up in your living room, you may be wondering which horse you should be backing in your portfolio … Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
NFLX is the market heavyweight that has managed to shoot itself in the foot time and time again, bringing its stock value down from vaulted heights to less than $100 per share. CSTR is the up-and-coming scrapper that has teamed up with Verizon (NYSE:VZ) to offer a streaming service (Redbox Instant) to rival that of NFLX. AMZN is the cloud-systems and retail juggernaut that sees streaming video as a lucrative side venture to beef up its online retail empire. So who is going to win?
Is the company with the lowest monthly subscription going to win? No.
Is the company with the most interesting combination of features and benefits going to win? No.
Is the company with the largest media catalog going to win? No.
The company that is going to win is the one that offers movies and TV shows that people actually want to watch when they want to watch them. People are willing to pay for what they want. They are not willing to pay for what they don’t want, no matter how inexpensive or how much of it there is.
That’s why you saw NFLX’s stock jump on Dec. 4 to its highest price since collapsing earlier this year. The company announced it had inked a deal with Disney (NYSE:DIS) to be the first to show recent Disney releases once they leave theaters. People want to watch Disney shows, and they are willing to pay for that ability.
CSTR Pulls Ahead
Watch for the company that develops the best video catalog. As long as it doesn’t break the bank paying for the rights and as long as it doesn’t make huge mistakes with its streaming technology, it will be the one to come out on top.
For the time being, the winner will most likely be CSTR thanks to the selection of new releases it can provide through its army of Redbox kiosks in conjunction with its online service.
If CSTR can break through $50 after having hit bottom in late November, it should continue to climb.
John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen are co-founders of LearningMarkets.com, as well as the co-editors of SlingShot Trader, a trading service designed to help you make options profits by trading the news.