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With big shows leaving service, Netflix has to do better than comedy specials, says analyst



Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler are in Netflix & # 39; Murder Mystery & # 39; a comedy film about a New York policeman and his wife who goes on a European vacation to revive the spark in their marriage but end up with to be framed and on the run for an elderly billionaire's death.

Netflix

Netflix may have to do better than comedy offers to keep its users on the platform, according to Rosenblatt Securities.

New streaming services take back beloved series from Netflix.

"With increasing competition for scripted originals and key-licensed content such as" The Office "and" Friends "leaving the service soon, NFLX is increasingly turning to comedies, documentaries to drive its share in show times and stave off incoming competition." Rosenblatt Securities internet and media analyst Mark Zgutowicz wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday.

"As more streaming services launch, NFLX will continue to lose its highest quality licensed content, making the success of their own content increasingly important," he said.

On Tuesday, WarnerMedia announced its new streaming service, HBO Max, will have exclusive "Friends" rights that strip it from the Netflix library. This step follows NBCUniversal's announcement in June that it will remove "The Office" from Netflix and put it on its own streaming service in 2021

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These licensed series have been staples for Netflix when running watch times between Netflix original content series, such as "foreign stuff". The "office" accounted for nearly 3% of viewing times in 2018, and "Friends" accounted for nearly 2% of viewing times in 2018, according to Zgutowicz.

These hours will be difficult to fill and Netflix's steps in comedy and documentaries are unlikely to drive significant gross additions, Zgutowicz says, but it keeps users engaged and potentially away from other competitive platforms.

Despite cautious prospects for Netflix, Zgutowicz raised his streaming service price target to $ 370 from $ 350. It was still under $ 383 Netflix was trading on Wednesday. Zgutowicz said to be more bullish on Netflix shares, he must see a continuing 25% growth in revenue at the end of 2021.

Netflix shares have fallen more than 8% over the last 12 months, but the stock has risen more than 40% since the beginning of the year.

Note: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

– CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to reporting.


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