3 Up-and-Coming Media Stocks Set to Shake Up the Sector


  • Forget Netflix, YouTube, and the local newspaper — these media stocks are the next big thing.
  • Rumble (RUM): Monthly viewership is accelerating.
  • Buzzfeed (BZFD): Vivek Ramaswamy has the left-leaning media stock in his crosshairs.
  • News Corp (NWSA): The definition of “old media,” News Corp’s management is rapidly rightsizing operations.

media stocks - 3 Up-and-Coming Media Stocks Set to Shake Up the Sector

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Media stocks are a tricky investment. While legacy media stocks like Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) were once dominant, their waning influence makes their former blue-chip status increasingly untenable. Even their successors, like satellite radio’s SiriusXM (NASDAQ:SIRI) can’t quite keep up with wider market trends. At the same time, the most popular media stocks like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) face ramping competition and an ever-narrowing moat.

Still, looking toward what trends are shaping up — and which media stocks capturing those trends are available today — is a bit of a gamble, but one that could pay off in the long run. These media stocks are at the fore of shifting consumer preferences and trends, are priced to buy, and have enough upside that holding them today could be like buying Netflix back in 2014 when shares traded below $50. They’re risky, sure — but these media stocks could also turn into multi-baggers within the next few years.

Rumble (RUM)

Person holding cellphone with logo of Canadian video platform company Rumble (RUM) Inc. on screen in front of business webpage. CFVI
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Rumble (NASDAQ:RUM) is a rapidly growing streaming media alternative to YouTube. It’s also increasingly capturing up-and-coming personalities and influencers in a bid to compete with perceived censorship and a lack of entertaining options across other platforms. Some of Rumble’s recent successes include a deal with Barstool Sports, platforming popular political pundits Saager Enjeti and Krystal Ball, and breaking 50 million active monthly users in 2024’s first quarter. Sure, its viewership stat still pales compared to YouTube. But Rumble is just getting started. Likewise, its most recent quarterly report reinforces its ascendant status.

Though management still reported a 14-cent loss per share, this was about one-third better than analyst estimates, which projected a 22-cent loss per share. Better yet, though, the company concurrently announced an antitrust lawsuit against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), alleging online advertising bias that pushes search results toward Google’s own properties, like YouTube, rather than competitor platforms like Rumble. While the lawsuit’s outcome is unclear, it’s still an important pivot point in the wider public pushback against Google and similar media stocks that currently dominate the scene — and Rumble is just one of a handful of upstarts that may push Google out of its top position.

Buzzfeed (BZFD)

Buzzfeed (BZFD) logo displayed on screen resting on top of a black keyboard with colorful lighting behind keys
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If you think Buzzfeed’s (NASDAQ:BZFD) inclusion among up-and-coming media stocks is a mistake, your confusion is understandable. After all, it’s been around for a long time — and suffered mightily in the meantime, with quality dipping in recent years amid accusations of plagiarism, undue advertiser influence, and an increasingly unpopular series of political perspectives that push customers and readers away. The latter point — Buzzfeed’s political bias, which Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting called “borderline creepy” — is a major reason former presidential candidate and activist investor Vivek Ramaswamy bought a 7.7% stake in the firm and intends to turn it around.

Ramaswamy, a Republican, intends to “engage in a dialogue with board or management about numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the company’s strategy.” Most likely, Ramaswamy is taking notice of a dearth of quality independent media companies in the wider landscape and intends to push for increased transparency, objectivity, and quality. Buzzfeed’s management is already pushing back, but Ramaswamy’s Strive Asset Management (though young) is already proving a formidable force among activist investment firms — and could be targeting media stocks next.

News Corp (NWSA)

News Corp. (NWSA_ Building front
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News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) is far from an up-and-coming media stock. In fact, analysts often count the longstanding company among struggling media stocks with limited prospects. But that view is misaligned with reality — ignore it to your own detriment.

News Corp’s portfolio traditionally included legacy newspapers, books, and cable television. However, as American media consumption evolves towards newer formats, management distinguishes the media stock by successfully transitioning to these emerging trends.

This transformation is partly driven by Starboard Value, an activist investment firm that recently opened a significant stake in the company. Following this investment, News Corp reported a 3% increase in quarterly revenue year-over-year and a notable 94% rise in net income. CEO Robert Thomson attributes these financial gains to the company’s strategic shift towards digital and subscription revenues, moving away from the less predictable advertising revenue model.

This strategic pivot is paying off as management also focuses on niche markets, particularly its Dow Jones segment and digital real estate services, which are performing well. Although News Corp places less emphasis on dividends to optimize its operations for the digital era, it still offers a modest 1.55% total yield, helping round out the list of growth-first media stocks with a blended value option offering some income.

On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held a long position in Buzzfeed. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Jeremy Flint, an MBA graduate and skilled finance writer, excels in content strategy for wealth managers and investment funds. Passionate about simplifying complex market concepts, he focuses on fixed-income investing, alternative investments, economic analysis, and the oil, gas, and utilities sectors. Jeremy’s work can also be found at www.jeremyflint.work.

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