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Netflix Wins AP's Entertainer of the Year, Boosts '19 Lineup

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Winning laurels is nothing new for Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) . The company recently added another feather to its cap when it was named Entertainer of the Year by Associated Press (AP). The streaming provider beat well-known names like Ariana Grande, Donald Glover, Michelle Obama and Bradley Cooper to grab the coveted title.

This year so far has been a productive year for Netflix in terms of awards and accolades. At Emmys it tied with AT&T’s (T - Free Report) HBO, winning 23 awards in different categories. Notably, Netflix received the highest ever nominations of 112, not only surpassing HBO’s nominations of 108 but its earlier nominations of 91 in 2017 and 54 in 2016.

Additionally, Stranger Things soundtrack recently won a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media category. Moreover, Netflix won eight nominations at the Golden Globe, per TechCrunch. However, 21st Century Fox’s FX Networks had the lead with 10 nominations, followed by HBO and Amazon Prime, with nine nominations each.

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Netflix, Inc. Revenue (TTM) | Netflix, Inc. Quote

Content Strength Key to Award Wins

Netflix is winning accolades owing to its content strength. The company’s focus on investing in original as well as regional content has done wonders to its portfolio.

Netflix’s recently released Roma has been named the best movie of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle and won the Golden Lion Award. Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron also won the best director and best cinematography awards for the year. Further, Roma leads the Oscar nomination list for Best Foreign Language Film. Notably, Netflix won first feature-film Oscar for documentary Icarus in 2018.

The company’s award winning original content slate along with its growing international reach is expected to drive subscriber growth. Netflix had 125 million global subscribers at the end of first-quarter 2018, which is expected to reach 146 million in fourth-quarter 2018.
Apart from investing in original content, Netflix is also investing in its top management and other key Hollywood talent to set it apart from its peers.

The company hired Disney (DIS - Free Report) owned ABC executive Channing Dungey, prior to hiring Christie Fleischer, a former Disney executive. Also, Rachel Whetstone, a former Facebook executive, is now Netflix’s chief communications officer.

Moreover, partnerships with prolific creators like Ryan Murphy, Kenya Barris, Shonda Rhimes, Shawn Levy and Jenji Kohan among others are providing impetus to the company’s content expansion strategy.

A Look at 2019 Content Portfolio

Although the number of originals planned to be released has not been disclosed, Netflix’s lineup is no doubt exciting.

Prominent filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Michael Bay and Noah Baumbach are working with Netflix to release films for the streaming giant. Management also noted that its upcoming shows like Umbrella Academy and Dark Crystal are expected to be very popular and garner huge user interests.

Its content lineup for 2019 includes a thriller (What/If), a sitcom (Mr. Iglesias), sci-fi/horror (Daybreak), dramedy (Russian Doll), animated series (Go! Go! Cory Carson), adult anime series (Rilakkuma and Kaoru), nature documentary (Our Planet), crime drama (Nowhere Man), a music competition (Rhythm + Flow) and others.

Additionally, Netflix is in search for content that has a global appeal as 80% of its new subscriber growth can be attributed to international markets. Moreover, the company has big plans for India, with the country’s upcoming slate for 2019 including 12 local language original series and 20 local language films. Further, management noted that it will not be expanding into sports content for now.

In spite of entry of players like Apple (AAPL - Free Report) and Disney, who are looking to launch their own streaming service in 2019, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is expected to be a dominant player due to content portfolio strength.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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