Thursday, December 08, 2011

Netflix -- The Bears Are NOT Hibernating This Winter -- RedBox, Doh!

I have written several times about Netflix -- yes, I am a long-time subscriber to its streaming service (despite my persistent frustrations with the service's depth of content, or lack thereof); but, no, I am not bullish on the company from an investment perspective -- even as its stock continues to plummet. Here are some recent posts -- (1) a particularly dire analysis from industry pundit Dan Rayburn; (2) Netflix's season of continuing foibles.

Now, the certainty of increased competition is becoming a soon-to-be reality. RedBox -- you know the $1/DVD red kiosk guys (actually each DVD is now $1.20)? -- it is tossing its hat in the ring by powering an upcoming streaming service from Verizon. According to TechCrunch, this new "Netflix Killer" will launch end of May 2012.

Given RedBox's ubiquitous consumer brand -- those kiosks are everywhere! -- and given Verizon's ubiquitous reach, this competition could be formidable, especially if RedBox challenges Netflix on its overall depth of content.

Throw in Amazon Prime -- and its massive reach via Amazon's new Kindle Fire, among other things -- and you have some strong contenders in the online premium video streaming game.

Challenging times for Netflix indeed ....