Netflix is seeing red -- and we're not talking the color of the streamer's ubiquitous logo.
Less than 24 hours after the "over-the-top" pioneer finished second behind HBO for most Emmy Awards for a network, the company's stock was battered on Wall Street. By market close, Netflix had fallen 1.8% Monday, landing the stock into the red on a year-to-date basis for the first time since November 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Long one of the tech darling that makes up the so-called FAANG group -- Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google -- Netflix had been one of the market's top performers this year before fears about slowing user growth and greater competition hit the stock. Actually, now every FAANG stock is in the OTT video game in some shape or form. That was not the case two years ago.
Netflix's woes could be good news for AT&T owned HBO. The long-time king of pay cable tv dominated the 2019 primetime Emmys with 37 wins overall, including the big win of the night for the mystical, dragon-filled adventure series “Game of Thrones” bringing in the coveted Outstanding Drama Emmy.
The cable network finished ahead of streaming rival Netflix which had 27 wins while competing streamer / retail giant Amazon rounded out the top three with 15 awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles Sunday night.
Coming out on top of the Emmy battle gives HBO momentum as they prepare to enter the streaming wars with their new platform HBO Max which is expected to launch in the Spring of 2020.
But will the average consumer use the Emmys as a tool when determining where to spend their streaming dollars? Do viewers consider Emmy wins for Amazon’s “Flea Bag” or will Netflix’s Emmy award for the directing of suspense-filled crime drama “Ozark” change how viewers stream?
“Probably not. I don’t think HBO beating Netflix at the Emmy’s matters all that much outside of industry insiders because the average consumer doesn’t know which shows have won Emmys and which haven’t,” longtime streaming expert Dan Rayburn told FOX Business.
“An Emmy award is not something the average viewer thinks about when deciding on a streaming service or which show to watch,” said Rayburn, the Chairman of the Streaming Summit, an industry conference.
When HBO Max enters the fight in the spring, the media giant will wage war against other new services Disney+, Apple+, and NBC's new streaming service, Peacock as well as veteran streamers Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
HBO has yet to announce their subscription rate for Max but the standalone HBO goes for $15 per month and if the new streaming service offers viewers more access to a wider catalog, it may cost more.
WarnerMedia -- the AT&T division that oversees HBO Max -- noted that the new service will host at least 10,000 hours of premium content when it goes live. “HBOMax is also going to include a ton of HBO’s back catalog of content as well, and there is some talk that they may include some live channels and live content, but I think HBO is still figuring it all out,” said Rayburn.
In 2018 Netflix reported $15.79 billion dollars in revenue while HBO who went through a Time Warner-AT&T merger in the same year reported $3.2 billion dollars in subscription revenue in the same year.
More important than Emmy wins, Rayburn said it is data that is far more important to judge these services on. “None of these streaming services will share any data with us on what drives new customer additions or what keeps customers on the platform, or which shows they are most engaged with,” Rayburn explained, “They have all this data, but they refuse to share it."
“Netflix has close to 160 million users worldwide and what HBO will do to tap into that is continue to create as much content as they can that will resonate with as wide of an audience as possible,” Rayburn says.
Another challenge facing Netflix, in particular, is how Wall Street values the company. Monday Barclays unveiled a new valuation framework which estimated that Netflix’s current valuation can only be justified if the company increases its revenue per user while decreasing its rate of customer turnover -- a challenge in the increasingly competitive streaming market.