Streaming services have made watching your favorite movies and TV shows easier than ever. People around the world now have access to a huge library of entertainment at the touch of a button. Top streaming stocks present a huge opportunity for investors to benefit from this trend.
Streaming services aren’t a new concept – platforms like Netflix and Hulu have been around for years. Recent years have seen increased competition in this sector as companies like Apple and Disney get into the game.
The COVID-19 pandemic also increased global demand for great streaming content. As many cities launched stay at home orders, consumers turned to their favorite video streaming service to stave off boredom.
It’s likely that streaming services will only get more popular in the years to come. We’ve rounded up our favorite streaming stocks to add to your portfolio.
The Best Streaming Stocks
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS)
Disney is one of the most established entertainment companies in the world. They were founded in California in 1923 by the Disney brothers, who were pioneers of animation and cartoons. They later expanded into live action movies, television, theme parks, and other forms of entertainment.
Disney has owned major TV networks like ABC, ESPN, FX, the Disney Channel, and more for years. However, in recent years they’ve made moves to get into the global streaming wars – with plenty of success.
The company gained control of Hulu in 2017 when they acquired 21st Century Fox. Hulu is known for their original programming as well as having an excellent selection of reality TV and network series.
They launched Disney+ in November of 2019. This new streaming service is the only place for consumers to access Disney’s massive content library, which includes Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and more. They are also producing their own original content to complement their existing catalogue.
Additionally, Disney runs ESPN+, a sports streaming service. This streaming service is unique in that it is designed to complement the basic ESPN subscription. Subscribers get access to premium sports events as well as original sports documentaries like the 30 For 30 franchise.
Disney was able to rebound from the pandemic-induced market crash in March. Disney+ subscriptions have been up as a result of a full slate of exciting content that premiered in October. Although they did report losses in the third quarter of 2020, they beat subscriber estimates.
Disney is a great buy for anyone wanting to invest in streaming. They have multiple subscription services, and Disney+ looks poised for success after just a year on the market.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)
Amazon is one of the most expensive stocks in the world, currently trading at well over $3,000 per share. The company has a foothold in many of the world’s most lucrative industries – including streaming.
Amazon Prime Video is one of the world’s most popular streaming services. They have a full library of movies and television shows, many of which are high-budget original productions.
While Amazon has had some form of video on demand since 2006, they didn’t launch Amazon Prime Video until 2013. While they’ve invested a huge amount of money in their original programming, they also have exclusive partnerships with many cable networks to expand their catalog.
Amazon stock has benefited dramatically from the pandemic. Not only have consumers been watching streaming services more, but they’ve also been shopping online using Amazon’s e-commerce platforms.
This company’s stock has already eclipsed its pre-pandemic prices by nearly a thousand dollars per share. They dramatically exceeded their third-quarter earnings expectations as well.
Since Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, they are subject to a huge amount of financial scrutiny. However, this behemoth isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, making it a reliable addition to your investment portfolio.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL)
While Apple is known as a tech stock, they’ve also recently launched their own video streaming platform. Apple TV+ is currently available in more than 100 countries through their app and website.
This platform launched in 2019 with The Morning Show, a star-studded drama. They quickly expanded their catalogue to offer series in a number of different genres, including sci-fi, thriller, family, comedy, and more. They also have a range of unscripted docuseries and movies available.
Although Apple TV+ hasn’t had the runaway success that Disney+ had, you shouldn’t write off this streaming stock just yet. They have a huge slate of original programming in the works right now, many of which feature celebrity actors and directors.
On the whole, Apple has exceeded expectations with their earnings in both the second and third quarters of this year. Outside of streaming, they’ve just released the iPhone 12.
While this stock is down slightly from a peak in September, they’ve still performed very well this year. Now could be the right time to make an Apple investment. It’s likely this tech giant will continue its steady growth over time.
Investing In Streaming TV
Streaming video has completely changed the way people around the world spend their free time. In the past, consumers were limited to watching live TV or renting DVDs. Now, most people have access to a full library of content on their devices.
The convenience and affordability of streaming has made it very appealing to consumers. It’s particularly popular among Millennials and Gen Z, who would prefer to enjoy their favorite shows on a mobile device instead of a traditional TV.
Streaming has proven itself to be a strong business model for several years. However, the pandemic has shown just how popular it is. People turned to streaming platforms for entertainment while they have been stuck at home through 2020.
Streaming stocks aren’t resting on their laurels – they’re continuing to innovate and develop exciting new content. In just a short time, streaming platforms have launched plenty of cult favorite shows and movies. Investing in streaming stocks is a great bet in uncertain markets.
Best TV Streaming Stocks
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC)
Viacom is a media conglomerate that owns a number of different entertainment channels. On the TV side, they own CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and MTV. They also own Paramount Pictures, one of the world’s most notable movie studios.
Viacom recently purchased a streaming platform called PlutoTV. Unlike many other streaming services, PlutoTV is free to watch with advertisements. It is designed to emulate the experience of watching network television.
There are more than 250 channels available on PlutoTV. Many of these are channels owned by CBS, and there are also new niche TV channels. Additionally, there is a full library of movies that subscribers can watch at any time. Viewers can enjoy the programming for free on their computer or smart device.
This company also has a paid streaming service called CBS All Access. This streaming service offers a huge vault of on-demand CBS content, as well as NFL and PGA games that aren’t available anywhere else.
ViacomCBS stock is much more affordable than many other streaming stocks. This makes it an excellent way for investors to cash in on this trend without breaking the bank.
Viacom has been on a steady upward trajectory since the market crash in March. Their streaming services are seeing excellent revenue growth this year. PlutoTV now has more than 28 million subscribers.
While Viacom doesn’t have the same market share as larger streaming services, it still has excellent potential. This affordable stock has amazing growth potential for the future.
AT&T (NYSE: T)
AT&T is another company entering into the streaming wars. While they are primarily a communications company, AT&T now also has media and entertainment assets.
In 2019, AT&T launched AT&T TV, which is a continuation of their longstanding DirecTV service. This cable service offers different packages, giving subscribers the option to choose their favorite channels.
DirecTV had been struggling due to the popularity of online streaming services. This new approach combines the benefits of a traditional DVR with a modern streaming service.
AT&T TV has struggled to get off the ground, but the company has another trick up their sleeve – HBO Max. You’ve probably already heard of this popular streaming service, which just launched in May of 2020.
While HBO had already had a streaming service in place, HBO Max has a much larger catalog than their previous offerings. By September, they had managed to pick up more than 8.6 million active subscribers.
HBO has long had a reputation for quality programming. HBO Max makes a huge catalog of beloved shows and movies available at an affordable price.
When the stock market crashed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, AT&T struggled. They haven’t been able to regain their stock value since. However, this means there’s potential for huge long term growth – especially as HBO Max continues to succeed.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)
Comcast has served as a national TV and internet provider since the early 2000s. However, they’re also one of the country’s most prominent streaming companies.
Their Xfinity platform has included an online streaming service for many years. This allows subscribers to watch live TV on their computer, and gives them access to popular TV programs on demand.
Comcast purchased NBCUniversal in 2009. This means they own a portfolio of TV channels including NBC, USA, Bravo, SyFy, and more. They also own Universal Studios and its corresponding theme parks.
NBC launched its Peacock streaming platform in July 2020. This platform features programming from NBC’s library and also contains some titles from Starz, CBS, A&E, Warner Brothers, and Paramount. They are also venturing into the world of original programming.
This stock is often overlooked, but it’s actually a strong play in the streaming game. Comcast’s operations are diverse, and they’re able to appeal to many different types of customers. This makes them an excellent streaming stock to buy right now.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL)
Google is another one of the world’s largest tech companies that is getting into the streaming game. They own YouTube, which is a social media network and one of the world’s largest providers of free entertainment. Data indicates that YouTube is particularly popular among Gen Z. These younger consumers are becoming an increasingly important segment of the market.
The company launched YouTube TV in 2017. This subscription service enables consumers to watch live TV from their mobile devices. It has programming from most established TV channels in the United States. The platform also offers YouTube Premium content.
YouTube reaches different markets and demographics than other big streaming platforms. Their social media component also sets them apart.
Google’s stock is very expensive, so it might not be right for investors on a budget. Despite the high price tag, market data shows that Google isn’t overvalued and could continue its growth pattern. Their third quarter earnings were stronger than many of their competitors, and they have a very diverse income stream.
The Best Streaming Stocks: Pure Plays
Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU)
Roku is an electronics company that makes streaming devices. Their products worth with your TV to give consumers full access to their favorite streaming platforms at home. They also make their own smart TVs.
Roku’s platform integrates with platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. Consumers can customize their Roku channel selections to suit their taste.
This is one of the most exciting streaming stocks to buy because Roku benefits from the success of several different media companies, not just their own. Their stock price has gone up consistently this year as people are staying at home more. Roku is also far ahead of the competition when it comes to streaming devices, having carved out their own niche in the market.
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)
Netflix was one of the first streaming companies to make a splash in the market, and they’re still a great addition to your investment portfolio. They launched as a DVD rental company, and eventually started their video on demand platform in 2007.
Since then, Netflix has released a huge range of acclaimed movies and TV shows in countries around the world. Data from their third quarter report indicates that Netflix has over 195 million subscriptions globally. Over 73 million of those are new and come from their US market.
Netflix shares are trading much higher than they were during the beginning of the pandemic, but they have dropped after hitting a peak in October. This is because their third quarter earnings report didn’t quite meet the markets’ expectations.
However, this doesn’t mean you should rule this company out as an investment. Netflix is such an established part of the entertainment industry that it will likely continue to grow in the long term, even if prices fluctuate as a result of earnings reports.
Streaming Stocks: Final Thoughts
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With so many people spending time at home this year, many streaming stocks are trading at all-time highs. Video streaming has become an integral part of our culture, and it’s unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Even as the market has fluctuated, streaming stocks have continued their strong performance.