Americans spent $30 billion on subscription streaming in 2022, a 17% year-over-year increase, according to industry analyst Next TV. That was more than four times the $7.36 billion consumers in the U.S. spent going out to the movies last year. Globally, the video-streaming market is forecast to reach $1.69 trillion by the end of this decade, projections from Fortune Business Insights show. Streaming has become the dominant way in which people consume movies and television shows. And that trend looks likely to continue as the video streaming industry grows and matures. With more companies entering the space and a steady stream of new content being developed, the industry is getting increasingly crowded and competitive. Yet a few players remain in the lead and are well-positioned to come out ahead in the long run. Here are the three best streaming media stocks to buy in April 2023.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has come a long way in a short period of time. Last spring, NFLX stock was tanking as subscriptions slowed and revenue sagged amid a torrent of new competition. Some analysts began to write obituary notices for Netflix. However, reports of the company’s demise were premature. Netflix moved quickly to get its house in order, reversing a long-held policy and adding a new advertising-supported streaming tier and cracking down on password sharing. The company also trimmed the billions it was spending on new content.
The efforts are paying off. The company’s most recent earnings from the fourth quarter of 2022 showed it added 7.66 million paid subscribers, which was 68% more than the 4.57 million consensus figure that analysts, on average, had expected.
It was the first quarter that Netflix’s new ad-supported tier was included in the earnings. The password-sharing crack down is expected to further boost the firm’s subscription numbers in the coming quarters.
NFLX stock has responded strongly, having risen 48% in the past six months, including a 15% gain so far this year.
Paramount Global (PARA)
Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) is another streaming stock that has been rallying this year. Since early January, PARA stock has gained 27%. The stock has been upgraded by several analysts in recent months.
One upgrade was by Bank of America, which raised its rating on the stock to a “buy” and increased its price target to $32 per share, the highest on Wall Street. The optimism comes as Paramount Global churns out hit films such as Top Gun: Maverick and popular television programs such as Yellowstone.
In addition to strong content, Paramount Global also runs two streaming platforms, each of which is going strong. Paramount+ now has 55 million paying customers, while 79 million people watch its free PlutoTV offering.
There have been some rumors that Paramount Global might become an acquisition target. However, the company has not said that it is looking to sell itself, and no suitors have emerged for the company.
Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) manufactures digital-media players that are used for video streaming, including internet-connected television sets. It also has an advertising business and licenses its hardware and software to third parties.
The company was spun off from Netflix in 2009. The last year was a brutal one for Roku and its shareholders. ROKU stock fell 92% from an all-time high of nearly $475 a share in July 2021 to just $38.26 on December 28 of last year. However, since bottoming just after Christmas, the stock has gained over 65%.
The rout of ROKU stock was due to declining streaming numbers and advertising revenue coming out of the pandemic. The rebound has resulted from a better-than-expected Q4 earnings print, with total active accounts surpassing 70 million users.
Roku has also recently announced 200 job cuts, impacting about 6% of its total workforce. To be sure, the company remains unprofitable. But its losses have been reduced, a trend that management has forecast will continue.
Roku is expected to be a beneficiary of streaming’s continued growth, making it one of the best streaming media stocks to buy.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in BAC. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.