• Disney Market Value Now Twice Netflix’s After Latest Surge
    Bloomberg

    Disney Market Value Now Twice Netflix’s After Latest Surge

    (Bloomberg) -- Gone are the heady days of 2018 when Netflix Inc. was briefly worth more than entertainment heavyweights Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.Disney’s market value at $268 billion is now twice that of Netflix’s after a recent surge fueled by optimism about its rival streaming service. Disney shares rose 7.4% to a record on Wednesday after reporting that 10 million customers subscribed to its Disney+ service, which debuted on Tuesday.Netflix has seen its market value fall to about $124 billion from a record $182.1 billion in July 2018 amid slowing revenue growth and increasing competition. Comcast Corp. has a market value of $206 billion.To be sure, Disney’s market value increase was aided by its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets. The deal was completed in March.(Updates shares in second paragraph, notes Fox acquisition in last paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at jwittenstei1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Jennifer Bissell-LinskFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Streaming Wars Get Hot for Disney, Netflix, Roku and The Trade Desk
    Zacks

    Streaming Wars Get Hot for Disney, Netflix, Roku and The Trade Desk

    The content explosion is creating massive new opportunity for advertisers and the one platform that connects everything.

  • AUD/USD Price Forecast – Australian Dollar Testing Major Moving Average
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD Price Forecast – Australian Dollar Testing Major Moving Average

    The Australian dollar has initially tried to rally during the trading session on Wednesday, but rolled over significantly, reaching towards the 0.68 level. Beyond that, there is also a major technical indicator right there.

  • Analysts Estimate L Brands (LB) to Report a Decline in Earnings: What to Look Out for
    Zacks

    Analysts Estimate L Brands (LB) to Report a Decline in Earnings: What to Look Out for

    L Brands (LB) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • Disney Rolls Out Disney+ Service, Stirs Up Streaming War
    Zacks

    Disney Rolls Out Disney+ Service, Stirs Up Streaming War

    Competition intensifies in the video-streaming space as Disney (DIS) joins the bandwagon with the Disney+ launch.

  • Netflix Falls 3%
    Investing.com

    Netflix Falls 3%

    Investing.com - Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell by 3.21% to trade at $282.64 by 13:57 (18:57 GMT) on Wednesday on the NASDAQ exchange.

  • Should You Be Adding Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) To Your Watchlist Today?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should You Be Adding Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) To Your Watchlist Today?

    It's only natural that many investors, especially those who are new to the game, prefer to buy shares in 'sexy' stocks...

  • Bloomberg

    For Streamers, the Great Unbundling Was Too Good to Be True

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Netflix Inc. broke the cable-TV bundle. Now it’s time to put it back together again, and cable giants like Comcast Corp. look eager to help.It’s true that streaming has created more choices for consumers. You don’t necessarily need to subscribe to a $100-a-month cable package just to access kid-friendly Disney programs or re-runs of “The Big Bang Theory” (or pay extra for the ability to DVR the episodes you’ll miss). There are on-demand apps for both of those now — Disney+, which launched on Tuesday, and HBO Max, which becomes available in May. At the same time, one major consequence of the streaming wars is that they’ve caused a new kind of consumer frustration. It feels like everything is becoming segregated across various services with their own individual paywalls. That requires knowing which TV programs and movies reside where, having to toggle among those different apps — which isn’t as smooth as simply channel-surfing — and managing multiple monthly subscriptions. Sign up for enough of them, and it can easily add up to the cost of good old cable, especially given that a strong internet connection is a necessary component. It’s a situation that’s unsustainable, and already the media and cable giants seem to be eyeing the reintroduction of bundles to make things easier on consumers (and to make their subscriptions stickier).As Comcast’s Matthew Strauss put it, "The great un-bundling could give birth to the great re-bundling.” He should know. Strauss is the former executive vice president of Comcast's Xfinity Services; he was recently put in charge of Peacock, the company’s own streaming product set to launch in April with content provided by its NBCUniversal sports and entertainment division. It will join Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and many more in the new streaming marketplace."How could someone possibly navigate all these apps? That's not how you watch TV,” Strauss said in a phone interview in September. “My prediction is that we're going to come full circle."Strauss and I were on the topic because Comcast had just made something called Xfinity Flex free to customers who subscribe to the company’s internet services but not its cable-TV packages. Flex is essentially a dashboard where users can access streaming subscriptions. It’s a lot like the home screen shown when powering up a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick — a display of tiles teasing different programs or services. The Xfinity X1 cable service is still front and center for Comcast, but Flex is a sign that the company is at least exploring how to cater to what may some day be a mostly internet-only customer base. While it may not be a bundle, it’s not hard to make the leap and envision a day when Comcast tries to offer bundles of streaming apps to its internet subscribers, serving as the go-between for programmers and customers just like it does in the cable world. Walt Disney Co. is already providing some evidence that it’s thinking the same way. As I noted in my column Tuesday, the entertainment giant recognizes that many viewers want more than a single app dedicated to superhero flicks and G-rated content. That’s why, alongside the launch of Disney+, it also began offering a $13-a-month bundle that tacks on Hulu and ESPN+. While Apple Inc.’s own original works such as “The Morning Show” can be watched with an Apple TV+ subscription, the company also has separately taken to aggregating rival apps in Apple TV Channels, where users can sign up on an a-la-carte basis. Similarly, Amazon.com Inc. has Prime Video and Amazon Channels. These aggregation efforts could all be precursors to bundling.Charter Communications Inc. CEO Tom Rutledge, during a September investor conference, discussed the challenges for so-called direct-to-consumer businesses — such as Disney+, CBS All Access, and so on — that traditionally haven’t had to deal directly with subscribers because the cable giants had typically maintained those relationships. Suddenly, programmers are having to handle billing and service issues and come up with customer-retention strategies. (Disney got a taste of this Tuesday, when its brand-new app was hit by technological glitches.) “All of those activities we do on behalf of traditional pay-TV vendors,” Rutledge said. It’s very hard to get “economies of scale in the direct-to-consumer marketplace like we’ve gotten out of the historic business.” That certainly sounds like someone who’s ready to negotiate some new distribution partnerships. Direct-to-consumer is industry jargon referring to how a streaming app bypasses the traditional distributors — flying directly past Charter and Comcast to the end user. So wouldn’t it be something if the winners of the streaming wars turned out to be none other than the cable companies? At the very least, remnants of their bundling model are sure to live on in streaming.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Disney passes 10m streaming sign-ups in one day

    Walt Disney said on Wednesday that more than 10m people have signed up to its new video streaming service, only a day after its launch, wowing investors and sending its shares higher. The company, the largest media group in the world, did not specify how many of the 10m were signing up to free trials for its Disney+ service, but the number was higher than Wall Street analysts had expected.

  • AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CNY – Kiwi Soars on RBNZ Shocker
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CNY – Kiwi Soars on RBNZ Shocker

    It is the New Zealand dollar’s day to shine. The currency is up over 1.0%, after the RBNZ did not cut rates, as expected. The Australian dollar and Chinese yuan are steady.

  • AUD/USD and NZD/USD Fundamental Daily Forecast – Kiwi Shorts Forced to Cover After RBNZ Holds Rates Steady
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD and NZD/USD Fundamental Daily Forecast – Kiwi Shorts Forced to Cover After RBNZ Holds Rates Steady

    The RBNZ said that while inflation remained below the 2 percent target mid-point, economic developments since August did not warrant a change to “the already stimulatory monetary setting at this time”.

  • AUD/USD Forex Technical Analysis – Close Over .6841 Forms Closing Price Reversal Bottom
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD Forex Technical Analysis – Close Over .6841 Forms Closing Price Reversal Bottom

    Based on the early price action, the direction of the AUD/USD on Wednesday is likely to be determined by trader reaction to the downtrending Gann angle at .6840. Nine days down puts AUD/USD in window of time for closing price reversal bottom. Watch trader reaction to Tuesday’s close at .6841.

  • UK and U.S Inflation and FED Chair Powell Put the GBP and USD in Focus
    FX Empire

    UK and U.S Inflation and FED Chair Powell Put the GBP and USD in Focus

    The RBNZ held rates steady, leading to a surge in the Kiwi, while the Greenback was under early pressure following Trump’s Tuesday speech…

  • Disney Streaming Outages Mar Its First Day as Netflix Rival
    Bloomberg

    Disney Streaming Outages Mar Its First Day as Netflix Rival

    (Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co.’s much-anticipated debut of its new streaming video service was marred by technical glitches and crashes for some users, though it still stirred excitement online.New “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian” was trending on social media, and Twitter users cheered that they were finally able to sign up and watch Disney+ after months of well-orchestrated promotions from the Disney marketing machine.Some users reported trouble getting the app to work as soon as they tried to log on in the early hours of Tuesday morning, when the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada was waking up. Problems reported on the @DisneyPlusHelp Twitter handle ranged from “service not available” to specific issues such as “The early seasons of The Simpsons are in the wrong aspect ratio.”Disney said consumer demand for the service had exceeded its highest expectations. “While we are pleased by this incredible response, we are aware of the current user issues and are working to swiftly resolve them,” a spokeswoman said in a statement, mirroring a tweet on the help-line account.The glitches ramped up from about a hundred reported outages to more than 7,000 within the span of an hour on DownDetector.com. They dipped to about one-tenth of that by midday but were rising again in the evening New York time as consumers returning home from work tried to log on.Disney is hardly the first media company to struggle with the technical side of streaming. In 2014, HBO’s streaming service crashed during the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Even technology giants like Amazon and YouTube have had problems, though their glitches happened while broadcasting live sports online, which is seen as more difficult than streaming on-demand TV shows and movies. Disney bought a controlling stake in BAMTech, a leader in streaming technology, to run the back end of its online services like Disney+.Streaming services often struggle when many people try to watch at the same time, said Dan Rayburn, the principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, who writes for the website Streamingmediablog.com. “It’s hard because of the complexity of the workflow and doing it at scale,” Rayburn said.It’s not just streaming shows smoothly, he added, but also managing the back-end database, like whether a user had paid and setting up a profile.“If in the next two or three hours everything is cleared up, it’s not that big of a deal,” he said. “If this continues throughout the day, this is a real problem.”Crowded MarketIn its quest to turn a nearly century-old entertainment giant into a streaming leader, Disney is entering a market already crowded with heavy hitters, including Netflix Inc., Amazon.com and Apple Inc. And more rivals are diving in soon, such as AT&T Inc. and Comcast Corp. next year. The world’s largest entertainment company thinks it can seize the day with a product packed with the company’s best movies and TV shows, including “Star Wars,” Marvel and Pixar films, as well as its library of some 400 children’s movies.“I feel great about what we’ve done,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told a roomful of reporters last week. “I love the app. It’s rich in content. It’s rich in brands. It’s rich in library.”Priced at $7 a month, Disney+ is a bet that the company can attract as many as 90 million subscribers worldwide in five years.It already has some key allies. Some 19 million Verizon Communications Inc. customers will be able to get the service free for the first year, thanks to a deal Disney cut with the carrier. Disney fan club members, meanwhile, got to prepay for a three-year subscription for less than $4 a month.“These are deals you just can’t beat,” said Kevin Mayer, who heads Disney’s direct-to-consumer division and has helped craft the streaming strategy.Disney shares rose 1.4% to $138.58 at the close of trading Tuesday in New York.Disney is looking to make the product accessible to as many people as possible. Customers will get to store their password in as many as 10 devices per family and watch four concurrent streams of movies or shows.The site is designed around five main “tiles,” named after the company’s key brands, including Marvel and the recently acquired National Geographic channel. Disney is spending $1 billion on new programming -- such as “The Mandalorian,” the first live-action “Star Wars” series -- in the first year alone. Disney+ also will offer the “Star Wars” movies in 4K-definition video for the first time.Unlike Netflix, which releases new seasons of programs all at once. Disney+ will put out one episode per week for its original shows. The programs will come out at midnight Pacific time on Fridays -- timing geared toward attracting a global audience, according to Ricky Strauss, Disney’s head of content and marketing for the product.A key part of Disney’s streaming strategy is bundling its services together. For $12.99, subscribers can get a package that includes Disney+, ESPN+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu. Those three services would cost about $18 a month if purchased individually.It’s all coming at great cost to the company. Mayer’s direct-to-consumer division saw its losses more than double to $740 million in the quarter that ended in September. The company doesn’t expect to make a profit on Disney+ for at least five years.But the marketing blitz for the new service seems to have paid off. UBS Group AG analyst John Hodulik surveyed more than 1,000 consumers in October and found some 86% had heard of Disney+. Nearly half were likely to subscribe.The company created its largest cross-promotional push ever, putting solicitations for the new service in Disney-owned hotels and its radio network. Disney also promoted the new service on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Fans watched a preview of Disney+’s new “High School Musical” spinoff on ABC on Friday.“If you haven’t heard about Disney+ by Tuesday,” Strauss said last week. “I promise you will.”Among the new originals on the show is a live-action version of “Lady and the Tramp.” Normally a remake of a classic like that would get a big premiere, a theatrical run and advertising everywhere.In the streaming era, it gets dropped on a Tuesday morning. The question now is whether the Disney magic still comes through without the Hollywood glamour.Either way, Disney doesn’t have much of a choice, said David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School.“Netflix has changed the nature of the game,” Yoffie said. “If they didn’t participate, they would be left behind.”(Updates complaint reports in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Brandon Kochkodin.To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net;Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net;Gerry Smith in New York at gsmith233@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Home Depot Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Surging HD Stock Near New Highs?
    Zacks

    Home Depot Q3 Earnings Preview: Buy Surging HD Stock Near New Highs?

    Home Depot stock is up more than 22% in the past six months to easily outpace its industry's 6% average climb and the S&P 500's 10% expansion. So is it time to buy HD before its Q3 earnings release?

  • Investing.com

    Kiwi Jumps More Than 1% Against Dollar as RBNZ Unexpectedly Holds Rates

    Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar gained more than 1% on Wednesday in Asia after the country’s central bank unexpectedly left interest rates unchanged.

  • Trump Trade, Walmart & Nvidia Previews & Buy CASY Stock - Free Lunch
    Zacks

    Trump Trade, Walmart & Nvidia Previews & Buy CASY Stock - Free Lunch

    All eyes will be on President Trump Tuesday for U.S.-China trade war updates. Walmart, Nvidia, and others are set to report their quarterly earnings. And why Casey's General Stores (CASY) is a Zacks Rank 1 (Strong Buy) right now...

  • AUD/USD Price Forecast – Australian Dollar Bounces From Support
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD Price Forecast – Australian Dollar Bounces From Support

    The Australian dollar went back and forth during the trading session on Tuesday, as we have reach down towards the 50 day EMA but then bounced a bit. Ultimately, this is a market that looks as if it is trying to catch its footing.

  • Competition in Video Streaming Intensify
    Zacks

    Competition in Video Streaming Intensify

    Competition in Video Streaming Intensify

  • Disney+ Launches, Dean Foods Files Chapter 11
    Zacks

    Disney+ Launches, Dean Foods Files Chapter 11

    Today is the big day for the long-awaited Disney+ streaming service from The Walt Disney Company (DIS), marking its bid for a piece of the home entertainment space.

  • Home Depot (HD) Earnings Expected to Grow: Should You Buy?
    Zacks

    Home Depot (HD) Earnings Expected to Grow: Should You Buy?

    Home Depot (HD) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.

  • Bloomberg

    Disney+ Dazzles, But Hulu Is Its Secret Weapon

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s Disney+ launch day, the arrival of a new video app that serves as Walt Disney Co.’s official entry into the streaming wars. But while the $7-a-month service may be a perfect choice for fans of “The Avengers” and “Star Wars,” or for parents of young children, Disney knows that’s not nearly enough variety for most people. Its efforts to address that shortcoming hint at what’s next for the industry: the revival of bundles. Buzz about Disney+ has been building for some weeks, as ads for the service cropped up on Twitter, billboards and TV. What’s gotten less attention is the crucial role Hulu plays in the company’s strategy. As part of Tuesday’s launch, consumers also now have the option of getting Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu (the on-demand version with ads) together for a rate of $13 a month, rather than paying for each app separately, which would total $18. Internally, Disney appears to be calling it the “super-bundle,” based on the image file name that was displayed on the sign-up page early Tuesday morning in place of a logo that wasn’t rendering (whoops):With the way content has been atomized — e.g., you can only stream Disney stuff on Disney+ going forward — no service on its own will provide all the shows and movies that a typical consumer wants. So as more viewers become completely reliant on streaming subscriptions, they’ll try to configure a set of apps that gets closest to imitating their ideal cable package. But that may get quite expensive. Say you want to watch “The Mandalorian” — the “Star Wars” series that’s headlining Disney+ — but you’re also a fan of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” hooked on HBO’s “Succession” and want lots of live sports, the likes of which Google’s broadcast-channel-heavy YouTube TV service provides. That would add up to $85 a month, in addition to the price of internet access — not quite the savings one might have envisioned from canceling cable. For the media companies, this is going to lead to lots of subscriber turnover month to month, with viewers pausing one subscription in favor of another just to binge on a new season of a hit series.The pickings on Disney+ are simply too narrow to be a cable substitute. This is where Hulu comes in, and to a lesser extent, ESPN+ (which is chiefly for fans of soccer and college sports). Hulu provides some of what’s missing from Disney’s superhero and family-friendly fare, with popular originals such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” recent episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” and other licensed programming. While the super bundle is really just Disney+ and Hulu throwing in ESPN+ for free, it's strategically priced at the same rate as Netflix and provides insight into Disney's thinking.Disney won’t be alone in looking for ways to bundle services for customers. HBO Max, the streaming app that AT&T Inc. is introducing in May 2020, is effectively a $15 bundle of HBO, content from sister networks such as TBS, the “Friends” and “Big Bang Theory” franchises and Warner Bros. films (all for the same price as HBO on its own). Apple Channels, where users can sign up for third-party services such as CBS All Access and Starz using their Apple ID, at least allows users to consolidate their payments to a single company, but it doesn’t provide discounts for doing so. For cable giants Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., negotiating with programmers to structure discounted streaming-app bundles would be a natural evolution of their businesses.So much of the focus of the streaming wars has been on trying to pick the winner, or who will be the true Netflix killer. In fact, Netflix and Disney may control 60% of the U.S. streaming-video market by 2024, according to Geetha Ranganathan, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. Most people wouldn’t want to see the streaming marketplace go the way of the box office — where Disney’s Marvel movies and animated features are the overwhelming majority. (And Netflix isn’t exactly known for the highest-quality menu.) Bundles that include broader arrays of content from different sources offer a better shot at sustained competition, and that sounds awfully better than a world in which all Hollywood’s creative decisions rest in the hands of just a few giants.It’s time to bundle up.To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota, Netflix, AbbVie, Gilead and Fiserv
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota, Netflix, AbbVie, Gilead and Fiserv

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Toyota, Netflix, AbbVie, Gilead and Fiserv

  • Disney+ Launch Signals the Death of the Cable Bundle, LightShed's Greenfield Says
    Bloomberg

    Disney+ Launch Signals the Death of the Cable Bundle, LightShed's Greenfield Says

    Nov.12 -- Rich Greenfield, a partner at LightShed Partners, and Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw discuss the launch of Walt Disney Co.'s Disney+ streaming service with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Disney+ Goes Live, Adding Its Media Library to the Streaming War
    Bloomberg

    Disney+ Goes Live, Adding Its Media Library to the Streaming War

    Nov.12 -- Mark Boidman, head of media and tech services at PJ Solomon, discusses the launch of Disney+ and the product’s place in the streaming wars. Marc Chandler of Bannockburn joins the conversation on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas."