Netflix Inc (NFLX) will exclusively stream the six-episode season finale of The Killing, produced by Fox Television Studios. The first three seasons of the acclaimed series is currently available on Netflix.
Based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen, the detective program was cancelled by AMC Networks (AMCX) after its second season. Fox Television Studios revived the series and co-produced its third season along with Netflix.
Netflix’s focus on improving user engagement has been the primary reason behind its success in recent times. In the recently concluded third quarter of 2013, Netflix’s subscriber base increased 10.87 million year over year to 40.28 million. Sequentially, total subscriber growth was 2.72 million.
This strong subscriber addition was primarily driven by Netflix’s expanding content portfolio that includes original productions such as Orange is the New Black, Lillyhammer, House of Cards, Hemlock Grove as well as the complete seasons of popular shows from other production houses like Fox.
Netflix has inked partnerships with major film studios and production houses, such as DreamWorks Animation, The Wachowskis (creators of The Matrix trilogy) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), Gaumont International, Sony Pictures and The Weinstein Company (TWC).
These deals will help Netflix to stream original shows such as Turbo F.A.S.T (Dec 2013), Sense 8 (some time in 2014) and Narcos over the next 12 months. Netflix is also expected to stream a psychological thriller (yet to be named) to be created by directors of the popular show Damages. The thriller will be produced by Sony Pictures.
The company is also expected to stream drama series Marco Polo, produced by TWC. In Aug 2013, Netflix also entered into a multi-year licensing deal with TWC to exclusively stream movies on a first run basis from early 2016.
The recent partnership deal with Walt Disney’s (DIS) Marvel Entertainment will bring at least four new 13-episode series and a mini-series based on characters such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage on Netflix beginning 2015.
These deals have not only helped expand Netflix’s content portfolio but also enabled it to venture into different genres like comedy, political thrillers, autobiographies and horror. Moreover, the expanded content portfolio provides a significant competitive edge over peers that include HBO and Amazon (AMZN).
Although, Netflix’s continuous subscriber loss in its DVD business and higher spending on content acquisition are concerns, the company’s growing subscriber base and international expansions are major growth factors in the near term.
Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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