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Netflix stock surged over 4 per cent on the Nasdaq last night as Wall Street speculation swirled about an imminent approach from either Apple or Disney with Disney being strongly tipped over the weekend. About 15 million shares changed hands, double the average.
CNN’s media reporter Paul La Monica claimed there was a consensus emerging that Netflix was vulnerable and needed a major technology partner. He pointed to slowing subscriber numbers in the US and internationally and contrasted the growth of Prime backed by the retail giant Amazon.
La Monica said the market was noticing that churn was now a factor with users frustrated at the constant flux in the service library as license deals came and went.
Shares in Netflix have declined 10 per cent in the year to date as investors remain wary of the company’s slowing subscriber growth.
Disney has taken pole position as suitor partly because of a deal initiated in last month when Netflix supplanted cable companies to become the exclusive pay TV home in the US for new films from the core Disney studio and its three other major franchises: Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel. Disney has also partnered with Netflix on several popular shows based on Marvel characters. Netflix is the exclusive home for Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Another new Marvel show, Luke Cage, debuted this weekend with solid reviews, aside from the grumblings of those who had to stop watching midstream on Saturday when the service went down.