Bank of America Declares Netflix Has ‘Won the Streaming Wars’





Netflix has been deemed top dog by Bank of America.

In a memo to investors, Jessica Reif Ehrlich, a research analyst for the bank, said Netflix has “won the streaming wars.”

“Over the last 18 months, changing market dynamics, investor focus on profitability, and the various talent strikes have led several media companies to re-evaluate their streaming aspirations,” Ehrlich said in the note Wednesday to investors. “Those companies have reduced their content spending and increased their licensing of content to Netflix and others.”

Ehrlich’s conclusion comes after the entertainment industry as a whole struggled through 2023 amid rising inflation, high production costs, and the Hollywood writers and actors strikes.

While Netflix wasn’t struggling to achieve profitability, like most streamers, the company still had to make some adjustments last year.

Amid the strikes, Netflix released 60 fewer shows in the second half of 2023 — a 25% drop from the first half of the year. Around the same time, the streamer was exploring restructuring its animation unit and outsourcing opportunities. The company was also considering layoffs, canceling movie projects, and raising the price of its ad-free tier. The company also took a tougher stance on password sharing which resulted in a surge of new subscribers.

During its 2023 third quarter earnings report, Netflix added 8.8 million subscribers for a total of 247.2 million subscribers worldwide. The streamer posted earnings of $1.68 billion — an increase from $1.4 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Revenue also climbed 7.8% to $8.54 billion.

This growth was due in part of the streamer’s crackdown on password sharing and continued its global expansion.

“Netflix is what the old bundle was, all in one service, something for everybody, cuts across every demographic,” Ehrlich said during an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

It’s still early, but experts think Netflix is likely to face some competition this year with the upcoming full release of the Hulu on Disney+ app in March. The new app will have one third of the 100 most popular titles in the U.S., according to Ampere Analysis, dwarfing Netflix’s 29 titles. In addition, Hulu on Disney+ would offer 9,578 distinct movies and TV seasons compared to Netflix’s 8,391.

Netflix wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The news was reported earlier by Next TV.

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