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Netflix (NFLX) Unveils its Virtual Reality App, Stock Up 5.8%

Zacks Equity Research

Shares of streaming giant Netflix NFLX jumped 5.8% to $103.76 after it stepped into the virtual reality (VR) space with the launch of its first app for VR headsets.

At Facebook’s FB Oculus Connect 2 Developers Conference on Thursday, Oculus VR Chief Executive Brendan Iribe unveiled Netflix‘s app for the Samsung Gear VR headset.

The app will be available on Oculus Rift, a VR headset, following its commercial launch, which is expected to be in early 2016. Samsung and Oculus also unveiled a Gear VR headset priced at $99 for Samsung Galaxy phones at the event. The Samsung Gear VR headset will start shipping in November.

The app consists of “Netflix Living Room,” a feature which enables Netflix’s Oculus users to access its content in a virtual environment. The app will enable users to watch movies and TV shows in 3D.

So users can now stream content like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" on a virtual theater by sitting in their own living room. The complete Netflix catalog will be accessible when the app is available on the Oculus store.

With the app, Netflix will be able to offer users with dynamic settings related to their favorite shows therefore offering a theater like experience.

The virtual reality market is still nascent but is being touted as the next big thing. And Oculus has been one of the most recognizable names in the virtual reality market. So working with Oculus VR is an added benefit.

But Netflix already faces competition as Hulu, Amazon’s AMZN Twitch, and Vimeo have also announced plans to release Oculus VR apps.

Netflix has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked technology stocks is Open Text Corporation OTEX, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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