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Why the Emmys Matter So Much for Netflix (NFLX)

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Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) is a streaming TV powerhouse, but in order to remain competitive long-term against HBO, Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) Prime, and soon enough Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and Disney (DIS - Free Report) , award shows like Monday night’s Emmys will prove vital.


Netflix earned 112 Emmy nominations this year, which helped the streaming company dethrone HBO’s (T - Free Report) 17-year streak at the top. Netflix didn’t blow away HBO, with one of the originators of premium TV boasting 108 nominations.

HBO’s Game of Thrones was also still the most nominated series overall with 22. Plus, the entrainment firm’s Westworld tied NBC's Saturday Night Live for second place at 21. HBO could also end up winning more awards than Netflix, but the streaming TV titan’s total nominations is an impressive milestone that investors should love.

Netflix’s first big original series, House of Cards, helped the company land its first-ever Emmy nominations back in 2013 when Netflix landed a now-merger 14. Netflix’s impressive climb from 14 nominations and just a few original shows to knocking off HBO for the top spot five years later is impressive. The move also helps to prove that Netflix’s commitment to spend billions of dollars on new original content has paid off in a big way.

Netflix’s 112 nominations came in just above HBO, but blew away third-place NBC’s (CMCSA - Free Report) 78, fourth-place FX’s 50, and CBS’ 34. It is also worth noting that Amazon came in eighth at 22, right behind fellow streaming player Hulu’s 27. Netflix’s The Crown, Stranger Things, and GLOW all received plenty of induvial nominations as well. And these big titles are often the reason many people sign up for Netflix in the first place.

The concept here is pretty simple: create or own content that people want to pay for. This often means shows that win awards and drive cultural conversations, as well as talk among friends and family—and even strangers these days. Today, more than ever, TV shows have become easy talking points. Netflix knows that in order to be as successful as HBO has been it will have to continuously create shows and movies that are widely considered to be the “best.”

Looking Ahead

Netflix’s has seen its stock price suffer since the firm reported second-quarter subscriber figures that fell way short of the firm’s own estimates. Still, Netflix closed the quarter with 130 million subscribers worldwide, which marked a 25% surge from the year-ago period’s 104 million.

But Netflix CEO Reed Hastings knows that content is what will drive subscriber growth. Some might think $8 billion is too much to spend on programing in one year, but it will likely be even more necessary in order to retain its current users as Apple and Disney prepare to launch their own streaming services. It is worth remembering that Disney boasts Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, and more. Apple, on the other hand, has amassed a ton of A-list Hollywood talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Netflix expects to add 650,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 4.35 million internationally in the third quarter. Meanwhile, our current Zacks Consensus Estimate is calling for the company’s Q3 revenues to surge by roughly 33.7% to reach $3.99 billion. At the other end of the income statement, Netflix is projected to see its adjusted quarterly earnings soar over 134% to $0.68 per share.

Investors should be very happy to see that Netflix’s earnings are expected to grow in a big way, even as the company commits billions on the content that its entire future likely depends on.

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