Among the most disruptive industries, streaming services transitioned from a niche technology to an absolute necessity. Nowadays, if you don’t have at least some exposure to this format, you’re dead in the water. Plus, the meteoric rise of streaming stocks has given traditionalists plenty of food for thought.
Naturally, with opportunity comes fierce competition. As it stands, the low-hanging fruit in streaming services is gone. To differentiate against the sea of competitors, sector players must provide attractive pricing and compelling content. While the latter is a subjective exercise, award shows like the Golden Globes provide key insights.
Although the Academy Awards carry more prestige, the Golden Globes bring together Hollywood standouts from the big and small screens. This unique setup provides media companies with a substantive indicator of what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, Golden Globes winners have historically influenced the Academy Awards’ votes, which have clear financial implications.
After all, streaming stocks are rarely focused on just streaming services. Companies who offer the best, most attractive content can advantage this through exclusive licensing rights. Such aggressive measures weed out the pretenders from the contenders.
Here are the streaming services that received a sentiment lift via Golden Globes winners, and those who fell short:
If any one entertainment studio stood out as the practical beneficiary among Golden Globes winners, it would be Disney (NYSE:DIS). Its most prominent contribution to the night, Black Panther, received three nominations. Although the film failed to bring home the hardware, its “Best Motion Picture” nod represented a groundbreaking achievement.
First, it’s extremely rare that a comic-book based movie would receive such an honor. Most best film awards go to historically significant or culturally relevant dramas. That Disney broke through with a Marvel Comics brand is a major catalyst for DIS stock. When people go to the movies, it’s usually for big blockbusters, something that fits Disney to a T.
Second, DIS stock wins on diversity. African-American actors featured prominently throughout the film, directly confronting Hollywood’s history of whitewashing. Not only that, Black Panther was the highest-grossing film of 2018.
With Disney scheduled to compete with other streaming services at the end of this year, things are looking good for DIS stock.
Most people recognize the Sony (NYSE:SNE) brand as a video-gaming powerhouse, thanks to its ultra-successful PlayStation consoles. Older millennials and above may remember SNE for its Walkman, which popularized the concept of convenient, portable entertainment.
But in recent years, Sony has branched into other avenues, including streaming services. Admittedly, its PlayStation Vue has problematic vulnerabilities, least of which is its misleading brand name. At the same time, SNE levers an enviable content library which can produce powerful synergies.
A prime example is its popular movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Although Sony numerically fell short among Golden Globes winners, Spider-Man did take home “Best Animated” honors. This is a massive victory for two reasons.
First, Sony has a complicated relationship with Disney-owned Marvel Comics. Long story short, the Japanese consumer-tech giant has exclusive rights to produce Spider-Man films and video games. Therefore, success at the box office translates to sales at GameStop (NYSE:GME) and other gaming retailers.
Second, Sony is finally doing something right and investing in its content umbrella. What we’re seeing with Spider-Man is only the beginning of a true turnaround for SNE stock. Perhaps the momentum might be enough to also rejuvenate PlayStation Vue.
I’m going to preface my Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) pick with this caveat: I’m not 100% convinced about SPOT stock.
As I mentioned last month, Spotify has balancing pros and cons. On one hand, the company suffers from poor financial performances, tough competition, and a non-distinctive business. But on the flipside, SPOT is heavily discounted, considering that it’s the clear leader in music streaming.
As far as Golden Globes winners are concerned, Spotify easily garnered massive sentiment points. Due to the diverse structure of this award show, several original songs and movie scores received primetime broadcasting. So even though A Star is Born faltered badly, fans will undoubtedly log onto Spotify to download the film’s Globe-winning song, Shallow.
But will this be enough to justify SPOT stock? I don’t like investing based on any one event or news item. Overall, though, the bearishness in the broader markets have brought Spotify down to a much more attractive level.
According to Deadline.com, few expected Richard Madden to take home the award for best actor in a television series. Likely, the Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) original series Bodyguard resonated with fans and critics for its gritty realism.
But for NFLX stock, this latest victory confirms what we’ve all witnessed over the years. Netflix evolved from merely offering a convenient platform to a must-have digital asset. Among streaming services, no one else provides the depth and volume of compelling content.
In addition, Netflix is on a roll. In last year’s Emmys, the streaming king took home 23 awards against 112 nominations. Just as impressively, NFLX beat out premium-cable TV frontrunner HBO in nominations, which 108 nods. Streaming stocks are putting the squeeze on traditional-media providers at every corner, and Netflix is leading the charge.
Of course, this year’s Golden Globes didn’t provide a standout victory for streaming services as the Emmys did. However, I’m looking at this from a longer-term perspective. Every win for this burgeoning sector represents a step closer to inevitable domination.
I like AT&T (NYSE:T), especially at this juncture. When the markets are in full-blown panic mode, you must first limit your exposure to speculative names. Next, you should ramp up your position in stable, dividend-paying companies. In my opinion, T stock checks off most of the attributes you want in a protective investment.
But despite my general bullishness, AT&T slipped badly among Golden Globes winners. Under the Warner Bros. name, AT&T supposedly had a sure thing in A Star is Born. Although nominated five times, Star failed to deliver in any of the cinematographic categories. Instead, the film snagged the honor for “Best Original Song.”
It’s no secret that T has ambitions to eventually lead streaming stocks. The biggest advantage the company levers here is resources. However, AT&T’s expensive Time-Warner buyout looks iffy if the merger can’t produce winning content.
Heading into awards night, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) had a distinct opportunity. With its programs nominated for the top honors of best drama series, best comedy series, and best limited series, it had the chance of taking home all three. The last time such a hat-trick occurred was back in 2001.
Unfortunately, AMZN missed the mark completely and didn’t take any statues in these revered categories. Further, I believe the judges assessed the issue correctly. For instance, FX’s Cold War era The Americans was one of the most underrated shows on TV. I’m surprised it took this long for the critics to acknowledge the series.
While Amazon didn’t go home empty-handed, the Golden Globes served some humble pie to the e-commerce giant. Probably the most eclectic name among streaming services, AMZN didn’t find that extra gear this time around.
I rarely talk positively about media stalwart Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and for good reason. The cord-cutting phenomenon has negatively-impacted CMCSA stock in recent years. Wall Street simply doesn’t trust Comcast to remain relevant in the 21st century.
Although the company has its Xfinity platform to counteract streaming services, the venture is a mixed bag. The mid-tier and premium packages are priced higher than competitor offerings. Moreover, younger consumers increasingly want original content, not traditionally-popular fare like sports.
That said, I must give credit where it’s due. Comcast, through Universal Pictures’ critically-acclaimed film Green Book, cleaned house among Golden Globes winners. This bodes well for the upcoming Academy Awards. Should Green Book take top honors there, it theoretically gives CMCSA credibility to bolster its streaming umbrella.
However, several social critics have blasted the movie for glossing over underlying racial tensions. And at any rate, the Green Book isn’t one of those lighthearted, vapid movies that ring up the cash registers.
Golden Globes co-host Sandra Oh at one point gave an impassioned speech about diversity. As an Asian-American entertainment pioneer, Oh was surely referencing Crazy Rich Asians. The comedy broke new ground last year for its all-Asian cast. More importantly, Crazy featured Asians in a normal and dignified light: no karate, nunchucks or tired racist tropes.
Nominated for two high-profile awards, Crazy fell flat on both counts. Frankly, I felt awkward for the Asian actors and actresses in the room. Oh perceived that after decades of being an invisible minority, this was the year that Hollywood finally wakes up. Instead, it’s just a minor footnote.
To be fair, Crazy as a film wasn’t particularly original or profound. But the bigger issue is that outside of one-off projects, Hollywood largely refuses to cast Asians in normalized roles. This kind of overt discrimination seriously impedes IQ and its American ambitions.
As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long Sony stock.