Netflix investors will assess risks from the ongoing strike in Hollywood when the company reports quarterly results on Wednesday, but analysts said it was well positioned due to its solid pipeline of shows and international production crew.
Striking Hollywood actors have joined film and television writers on picket lines, forcing U.S. studios to shutter productions as workers battle over pay in the streaming TV era.
Some of the people on strike are also picketing the Netflix offices in Los Angeles. But the streaming giant, which is set to report its highest second-quarter subscriber additions since 2020, is likely to keep churning out titles such as Gal Gadot’s upcoming Heart of Stone and Too Hot to Handle Season 5.
Netflix’s international production capabilities are a “huge differentiator”, and a lot of their content comes from countries that are not involved in the strike, analysts at SVB MoffettNathanson, Credit Suisse and Insider Intelligence said.
The company demonstrated that capability during the pandemic when subscribers flocked to shows created outside the United States, including the French mystery thriller Lupin and the comedy Call My Agent!, SVB MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson said.
Netflix is also not tethered to the parts of the entertainment business that are struggling, namely theatrical and broadcast television, Nathanson added.
In the past week, three brokerages have raised their ratings on Netflix’s stock, while five have lifted their price targets.
Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing is also reaping returns, and its cheaper, ad-supported plan is finding more takers, as the company copes with competition from Disney+ and Amazon’s Prime Video. The move, which forces users who share an account outside the same home to pay an additional fee, drove the four biggest days of user additions in the U.S. in at least four-and-a-half years, data from research firm Antenna shows.
“Our experts estimate that of the 100 million households reportedly sharing passwords, Netflix could drive around 50% to ultimately create their own accounts,” Third Bridge analyst Jamie Lumley said.
Netflix is expected to have added a net 1.77 million subscribers, according to Refinitiv, in what is typically a weak quarter due to school holidays. The company lost nearly 1 million subscribers in the year-ago period. It has also been two full quarters since Netflix launched its ad-supported tier, which likely pulled in 2.7 million subscribers in the April-June period, according to research firm Visible Alpha.
“We expect the most important aspect of Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing will be the catalyst it creates to attract more users to its $6.99 ad tier base, in turn generating higher revenue from advertising,” Macquarie analysts said.
Ad-supported revenue likely came in at $169.3 million in the second quarter. Insider Intelligence predicts Netflix could generate $770 million in ad revenue by the end of 2023.
The second quarter also featured some strong programming from Netflix, including hits like Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story and Never Have I Ever Season 4.