If you’re an investor who watched this year’s Golden Globes awards ceremony, you may have taken note that a specific segment of the entertainment industry received more than its fair share of recognition. That segment is the one that relies on streaming to share its content with consumers.
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Companies that emerged victorious included Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZND), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLXD) and Hulu (co-owned by The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DISF), Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXD) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSAF).
Hulu won two Golden Globes, one for Best Television Series – Drama (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Best performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, awarded to Elizabeth Moss. Hulu’s wins at the Golden Globes followed similar awards at the Emmy awards earlier this year.
A Force To Be Reckoned With
Industry experts note that these accomplishments represent more than artistic achievement. They represent acknowledgement that the once-fledgling streaming segment of the entertainment industry is here to stay, especially with more cord cutters and cord nevers turning to streaming as their primary exposure to original content.
After all, it wasn’t long ago that cable and satellite were considered newcomers to the industry. Now the entertainment industry itself has turned its attention to streaming with more than passing concern about the fact streamers are producing their own content instead of counting on Hollywood’s “hand-me-down” movies and second run television shows.
Investing In Streaming
While Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGC) Google, Amazon and Netflix represent the giants of the streaming space, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLB), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FBF) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFTB) owned LinkedIn offer some exciting new growth opportunities. Much of the debate centers around the value of content versus the so-called “last mile” and the fact those vendors may have the shortest and most productive path to profit.
The “last mile” companies include cable and wireless giants like AT&T Inc. (NYSE:TC), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZC), Time Warner Inc. (:TWXN/A) and the afore-mentioned Comcast. Where investors should put their money – other than everywhere – may depend on their answer to the question, “Which will win out, content or infrastructure?”
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Digital media companies have long been saddled with the reputation of their predecessors caught up in the dot-com bubble of the 90s. It may not be so much a sense of impending doom as it is an ever-present concern that what happened in the past could happen again.
The greater concern is revenue, or lack of it. Companies with massive valuations and no real indication of sustainable revenue seem ripe for the development of a bubble. Those interested in investing in streaming, whether on the content or infrastructure side would be well-advised to pay attention to the revenue side of the equation now and in the future.