Hey Netflix, The Real Problem Is You’re Too Damn Expensive

Credit: Getty Royalty Free

Credit: Getty Royalty Free

So is Netflix the Napster of streaming entertainment? Remember Napster? It allowed fans to download music for free, and illicitly. Apple helped smash the upstart by launching iTunes, which allowed people to download songs legally, cheaply and easily.

The theme music around video streaming company Netflix is ominous of late. After some unwelcome news, Netflix stock is down almost 10%. Well, it’s about time.

The company has been an investor darling for a long while. Too long, in fact. Yes, Netflix has turned out great original programming (starting with “House of Cards”) and shown some fine films and beloved TV reruns. But the recent potholes it has hit reveal the unpleasant truth: The stock is way overvalued.

Netflix’s scorching growth rate was responsible for putting it into the same exalted tier as its tech betters.  The streaming outfit belonged among the other members of the FAANG group as much as a scrappy 5-6 junior varsity point guard would among 6-10 NBA superstars.

Despite the inflated stock price, Netflix’s market cap still is dwarfed by the tech titans’ value: $142 billion versus $573 billion for Facebook, $973 billion for Amazon, $946 billion for Apple and $795 billion for Google parent Alphabet.

In revenue terms, the contrast is as stark. Netflix garnered just under $16 billion last year. At the same time, the other four’s revenue ranged from Apple’s $266 billion down to Facebook’s $57 billion. Netflix’s sales look puny in comparison.

But then check out their trailing price/earnings ratios. Netflix sports a towering 127 P/E. Amazon has the largest multiple, with 82. The rest are higher than the S&P 500 yet hardly stratospheric, with Facebook at 30, Apple at 17 and Alphabet at 29.

How in the name of Benjamin Graham and the other investing gods does Netflix deserve such a towering P/E, far in excess of the Big Tech quartet’s? Maybe the stock’s current downdraft is the start of a long-overdue reckoning.

Netflix’s stock slide started last week when the company announced it had lost the rights to two of its top-watched shows, reruns of “The Office” and “Friends.” AT&T subsidiary WarnerMedia has the rights to “Friends,” which it can put on its HBO Max, while Comcast-owned NBC Universal will play “The Office” on its planned streaming service. Meanwhile, Netflix is burning through cash at an unsustainable pace of $3.5 billion this year.

Then came a second groin kick, during Netflix’s second quarter earnings release Wednesday: Subscriber numbers came in weaker than expected—the company added just 2.7 million paid subscribers, down from its own projection of 5 million. Not helping was its recent price hike, which surely had a role in tempering the growth rate. In the U.S., it saw 130,00 subscribers quit.

That’s why a lot of people are wondering whether Netflix is the next Napster, a disruptive business that paved the way for others but could not last itself. Among them is the ever-thoughtful Stephen Paternot, CEO of Slated, the online film financing marketplace and a streaming expert.

“Netflix is learning the hard way what old school studios have known for a long time: to be competitive and cash-efficient, you’ll need to build a solid library of original content with fewer, bigger projects,” he said in a statement. “Everyone is moving to the subscription model, so start finding—and owning—those blockbuster projects and binge-worthy shows if you want to stay afloat.”

Certainly, on one level, the comparison to Napster is strained. The now-defunct music company’s dubious business, based on swiping copyrighted content, is nothing like Netflix’s subscription model. Napster was sued out of existence. The broader question is: Will Netflix end up in the graveyard as others pass it by? Probably not.

Netflix still has a lot going for it. When the third season of its hit “Stranger Things” landed recently, the viewership was huge. Expect a similar result when the latest (and final) season of “Orange Is the New Black” drops net week. True, some big dogs are getting into its arena. But joining Netflix for viewer, unlike buying its stock, isn’t that expensive, and certainly is less than cable: $12.99 monthly for its most popular plan.

All of which is to say that Netflix has likely carved out a place for itself in the video landscape. It just doesn’t belong in the lofty company of Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google. And the stock drop may be the market’s waking up to this reality.

Good investing ideas, often contrarian, constitute my brief, here at Forbes. com. Key to that is helping you to build a solid financial future.

Source: Hey Netflix, The Real Problem Is You’re Too Damn Expensive


Louis Armstrong – What a wonderful world ( 1967 ) – Letecheur Christophe

Louis Daniel Armstrong (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971), nicknamed Satchmo, Satch, and Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in the history of jazz. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Armstrong was born and raised in New Orleans. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an “inventive” trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. Around 1922, he followed his mentor, Joe “King” Oliver, to Chicago to play in the Creole Jazz Band. In the Windy City, he networked with other jazz musicians, reconnecting with his friend, Bix Beiderbecke, and made new contacts, which included Hoagy Carmichael and Lil Hardin. He earned a reputation at “cutting contests”, and moved to New York in order to join Fletcher Henderson‘s band……



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$400M Fiction Giant Wattpad Wants To Be Your Literary Agent – Hayley C. Cuccinello


It took a less than an hour in 2013 for Anna Todd to change her life. The Army wife and part-time babysitter had spent a lot of time reading fan fiction, stories by amateur writers about existing fictional universes and real-life celebrities. So her erotic tale about Tessa and Hardin—a wholesome college freshman and a tattooed bad boy who is a thinly veiled stand-in for singer Harry Styles—came together quickly when she sat down to typed the first chapter of After on her phone. Todd posted it to Wattpad, one of the world’s largest destinations for online reading and writing……

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How a Working-Class Couple Amassed a Priceless Art Collection – Mag


Herb Vogel never earned more than $23,000 a year. Born and raised in Harlem, Vogel worked for the post office in Manhattan. He spent nearly 50 years living in a 450-square-foot one-bedroom apartment with his wife, Dorothy, a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. They lived frugally. They didn’t travel. They ate TV dinners. Aside from a menagerie of pets, Herb and Dorothy had just one indulgence: art. But their passion for collecting turned them into unlikely celebrities, working-class heroes in a world of Manhattan elites…..

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Celebrity 100 The World’s Highest Paid Entertainers 2018 – Zack O’Malley Greenburg


There’s never been a better time to be famous. The world’s 100 top-earning celebrities pulled in a combined $6.3 billion pretax over the past 12 months, up 22% from last year; 11 superstars crossed the $100 million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined.

Those are just a few of the takeaways from the 20th annual Celebrity 100 package, our accounting of the highest-paid front-of-camera stars on the planet. Floyd Mayweather tops the ranking with $285 million in pretax earnings, almost entirely on the strength of his August 2017 fight versus listmate Conor McGregor. George Clooney finishes second with $239 million, most of it coming from liquor giant Diageo’s purchase of Casamigos, the tequila company he cofounded, giving him the best annual take-home of his—or any actor’s—career.

Our cover star, Kylie Jenner, pulled in $166.5 million to claim the No. 3 spot, boosted by a sprawling cosmetics empire that has her on the verge of becoming a billionaire before she’s old enough to drink. Judge Judy Sheindlin’s $147 million puts her at No. 4—buoyed by the sale of her TV library for $100 million—while Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rounds out the top five with $124 million thanks to blockbusters like newly-released Skyscraper.

“The number one goal is to create stuff for the world,” the superstar explained to Forbes in an interview for the package.

The Celebrity 100 list ranks front-of-camera stars around the globe using their pretax earnings from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018, before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Estimates are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, IMDB, SoundScan, NPD BookScan and ComScore, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.

Over the past two decades, more than 700 actors, actresses, musicians and other stars have appeared on the list, accumulating a total of $80 billion in earnings. This year’s list members represent 17 countries: the U.S., U.K., Barbados, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, China, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Spain, Greece, India. Newcomers range in age from septuagenarian Pink Floyd co founder Roger Waters (No. 28, $68 million) to thirty something pop rockers Imagine Dragons (No. 89, $36.5 million).

Full List: The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities

The youngest on the list is 20-year-old Jenner. Later this year, she’ll likely take the title Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates once held: the world’s youngest ever self-made billionaire. Like The Rock, Jenner has leveraged social media to market her wares to a mammoth audience—over 110 million followers on Instagram alone.

“Social media is an amazing platform,” she told Forbes. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.”

Jenner isn’t the only cover star to make the list. She’s joined by her half-sister, Kim Kardashian-West (No. 30, $67 million); The Weeknd (No. 39, $57 million) and Katy Perry (No. 19, $83 million), all of whom appeared on the cover of the Celebrity 100 in recent years.

“I don’t feel like my career is a ticking time bomb,” Perry said, presciently, at the time. “I don’t feel like I’ll always have to be feeding the meter of show business. I got my spot, yo.”

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