Netflix is the household name in the world of online streaming media, but a number of other lesser-known names are starting to make some noise in the streaming space, posting big gains in recent months. In an economy increasingly flooded with subscription-based models, stocks like Pandora Media Inc. (P), Roku Inc. (ROKU), and Spotify Technology S.A. (SPOT) are soaring on increased subscription growth, Boris Schlossberg told CNBC late last week, saying, “They are essentially trading on the fact that they are growing their subscriptions.”
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Adding that the subscription growth is “the dynamic that could push them even higher as we go from this point,” Schlossberg downplayed the role of profitability, claiming, “It really doesn’t matter how profitable they are; it almost doesn’t even matter how much revenue they have.”
Of course, Netflix likely won’t be hitting a wall any time soon when it comes to subscription growth. Cowen & Co. estimates that the video-streaming platform will grow its international user base from 83.6 million subscribers at the end of this year to 255.2 million subscribers in 2028, a more than 200% increase over the next 10 years, according to MarketWatch.
But investors looking to diversify their holdings of companies within the streaming space will want to take a look at what the other names have to offer. (To read more, see: Baird Gets Even More Bullish on Netflix.)
Up-and-Comers of Streaming Content
Spotify, which offers both commercial free music and ad-supported music streaming, saw its total monthly active users (MAU) increase 30% year-over-year in this year’s first quarter with premium subscriptions up 45% year-over-year. Total revenue was up 21% year-over-year. After going public only three months ago, the company’s main competitor will be Apple music.
Roku, which designs and manufactures wireless-enabled devices that stream online audio and video content to home entertainment systems, saw active user accounts grow 47% year-over-year in the first quarter of the year as total net revenue was up 36% year-over-year. Since first going public last September, the company’s stock has almost doubled, but is down 10.6% since the end of last year, giving it plenty of space to run just to reach its previous high. (To read more, see: Oppenheimer Sees 15% Upside for Roku.)
Pandora, an international music discovery platform offering personalized streaming radio and on-demand music services, saw its total subscribers grow 19% year-over-year in this year’s first quarter with subscription revenue growth coming in at 63% year-over-year. Pandora’s key to continued subscriber growth is to introduce users to music they’ve never heard of, but will love, according to CEO and co-founder Tim Westergren. “If you can do that consistently, that’s all she wrote—that’s a customer forever,” he told Billboard.com. The big challenge will be competing with the likes of Apple music and Spotify.