Netflix is of now well ahead of its rivals, but after reports that Google’s YouTube may license TV shows and movies for its subscription service, many traders believe rivals could eventually catch up to Netflix.
Rivals may catch up fast
Netflix rivals Amazon and Hulu are already offering original series, and Apple is also believed to be working its own content. All of Netflix’s rivals are well-funded, and considering that the streaming firm’s stock is up 160% this year, Fast Money trader Dan Nathan believes the stock offers limited upside.
Another trader, Brian Kelly, agrees with this view and says rivals could pose a big threat to the streaming firm. Nathan says Walt Disney is looking attractive on weakness. The company has benefitted widely by acquiring content like Star Wars and Marvel. The trader believes the stock appears a stronger buy at $105.
Two more concerns for Netflix investors
Apart from rivals, there are two more threats that could concern Netflix investors. One is the “Dark Web,” which facilitates an out-sized amount of shady activity. Such places can be reached with the help of browsers that make IP addresses untraceable.
Owing to such anonymity, such marketplaces offer “every possible service and every possible flavor you could think of was being made for sale,” says Intel Security CTO Raj Samani.
These dark places are even selling lifetime access to Netflix accounts for as little as 50 cents. Other services such as Time Warner‘s HBO Go and Spotify are also being sold cheaply on such marketplaces. The very existence of such markets threatens Netflix’s business as many users may get their account suspended owing to suspicious activity. Also it could cost in terms of revenue.
Another concern for Netflix and its investors is piracy of exclusive content. Recent reports have hinted at pirates being able to access high-definition (4K) content, which until now was perceived to very safe.
Though Netflix is currently investigating the 4K-quality rips of its content, we can expect free-flow downloads for some time at least as the code has already been cracked. This could impact Netflix’s revenue numbers, as many would prefer to download it free rather than paying a subscription fee to access it.
On Thursday, Netflix stock closed down 1.64% at $126.81. Year to date, the stock is up by almost 160% while in the last one month, it is up by almost 16%.