Netflix can remain leader as streaming business grows

As the movie rental company rebuilds its image, keeping prices stable will be critical.

By Trefis Dec 20, 2011 3:34PM
(© Comstock/SuperStock)In light of Netflix's recent pricing changes, we have updated our  model to understand how different business segments impact Netflix's (NFLX) value.

We estimate that about 60% of Netflix's value is going to come from its domestic streaming business and about 25% from international streaming. The US DVD business accounts for the remaining 15% of our total price estimate for Netflix.

Our estimates assume that although competition from companies such as Amazon (AMZN) and Blockbuster under Dish Network (DISH) will increase and that new competitors might emerge, Netflix will be able to leverage its lead, repair its brand and continue to gain new subscribers.


We estimate that Netflix's U.S. streaming subscription base will grow from an estimated 21 million in 2011 to about 38 million by the end of our forecast period. This implies a growth that is healthy, but is still significantly below the growth that Netflix experienced in the past few years. Additionally, we assume that the company will not make any changes in pricing for a long time to come, especially because of the recent customer backlash. Netflix is trying to rebuild its image and keeping prices stable is going to be an integral part of that process.


Netflix US Streaming Subscribers

Although the international opportunity for Netflix is huge, the subscriber base may not be able to match that of the US due to local competitive resistance and a lack of broadband penetration and speeds in markets such as Latin America. We expect that in the long term, the US subscriber base is likely to stay higher than the international base.


Netflix International Streaming Subscribers

Finally, we estimate that the US DVD subscription business will be the lowest value contributor because of the expected continued decline in the DVD subscription base. Although 2011 declines were steep and resulted from Netflix's price hikes, over the longer term, changing consumer behavior will mean fewer subscribers for this service.


Our price estimate for Netflix stands at $126, implies a premium of about 70% to the market price. See our full analysis for Netflix.


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