Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has been performing brilliantly over the last several quarters, and many attribute a meaningful portion of the company’s success to its original content—specifically, the popular award-winning series House of Cards. But is this view really accurate? Citi analysts Mark May and Kevin Allen took a closer look at the numbers and say that trends do suggest that subscribers could be signinf up for Netflix because of House of Cards.
Examining the popularity of House of Cards
Data from Google Trends shows that House of Cards‘ popularity has risen 76% year over year.
Indeed, even President Obama may watch House of Cards, as he (or whoever’s in charge of his Twitter account) tweeted a request for no spoilers about the show.
But Google isn’t the only place the data suggests Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) may be receiving a boost from the show. Data from Procera indicates that viewership of the show has risen significantly this year compared to last year. For example, while just 2% of Netflix subscribers watched the show on its premier day for season one, 16% of them watched it on its season two premier day. The numbers also indicate that at least some viewers are binge watching the series (viewing multiple episodes back to back), which is possible because Netflix posts all of the season’s episodes at the same time.
What has House of Cards done for Netflix?
So we can see data which shows how much popular House of Cards became this year, but what about Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) itself? Google Trends also shows an increase in the streaming video company’s popularity, which it estimates rose 15% year over year.
Will Netflix enjoy continued popularity?
The Citi team maintained their $410 per share price target for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). They note that the company appears to be facing more and more competition. They suggest that one of the most important questions about Netflix is whether the company can continue to consistently produce exclusive original content. They also question whether Netflix’s exclusive licensing deals will be able to keep and attract subscribers while still making it possible for the company to profit in spite of the cost of the content. In addition, they wonder if content owners will begin to pull back on their “aggressive licensing moves” in favor of Netflix if cord cutting becomes a serious problem for their core TV business.