In a sudden turn of events, majority of the world population of around 7.8 billion is confined to the walls of their homes, commanded to stay in and even sceptical to move out. Taking trips from the kitchen to the couch, we are hoping for a complete containment of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), figuring out schedules for the days that seem mundane, picking up hobbies, cooking and cleaning up, working from homeyet also savouring the much needed retreat from a dynamic lifestyle.
At the same time, some are enjoying rummaging through a whole lot of uninterrupted online content (movies, TV shows, training courses, etc.), providing the largest ever viewership to the service providers.
So, while social distancing is encouraged, this is what people across the world and in Australia (~ 25.2 million) are up to, making the most of the hunkered-down times. Some of the best online platforms that Australians tune in to include Netflix, Disney Plus, Foxtel, Stan and other entertainment websites, causing greater competition in the streaming and related sector space.
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NLFX)
Netflix, Inc., headquartered in Los Gatos, California, is currently the world’s most popular mediaservices provider and production company with over 151 million paid memberships across 190 countries. Binge Watch and Chill!! It offers some of the most exclusive, original and even old shows and movies that can be streamed across smart TVs, gaming consoles, PC, Mac, mobile, tablets and more.
The Company stands at top in the online streaming space and its member base has been ever expanding in Australia, especially during this social distancing and quarantine phase.
Netflix on a regular basis introduces high-quality and original content for all viewers across tastes and ages. In Australia, the service plans begin at AUD 9.99 a month.
The Company, boasting a market cap of ~ USD 158.74 billion, is listed on NASDAQ under NFLXand its stock was priced at USD 361.76 on 3 April 2020.
Launched in November 2019 in Australia, Disney+ isa video on-demand streaming service, owned through affordable subscriptions fee. It is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The price is low for hours of entertainment spanning a myriad of genres and interests, an exhaustive collection of TV Shows, most loved movies, and the Star War series with the most desirable feature being that streaming does not include advertisements.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate with a market capitalisation of around USD 169.49 billion. The DIS stock closed at a price at USD 93.88 on 3 April 2020.
Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (ASX: NEC)
Australia-based Nine Entertainment is a well-renowned local media company with investments spanning television, print, digital, video on demand, and radio. Its assets presently include the video on demand platform 9Now, Nine Television Network, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR, talkback radio stations 2GB, major mastheads such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review (AFR), subscription video platform Stan and others.
The Company connects audience to some of the most loved and trusted brands spanning lifestyle, entertainment, news, business and finance, and sports through the creation of exclusive content.
Despite the market uncertainty around Covid-19, the audiences across all of Nine’s businessesare performing well, and the Company remains focused on achieving cost efficiencies wherever possible. However, the forward ad market is becoming increasingly unpredictable and thus, NEC considered it prudent to withdraw its FY20 guidance.
The Company isoperating with majority workforce working at home. Besides, itscrucial newsrooms across Australia remain open and would continue to provide premium news coverage to all countrymen.
With a market capitalisation of around AUD 1.89 billion, the NEC stock was trading on 6 April 2020 (AEST 11:56 AM) at AUD 1.185, inching upward by 6.757% with ~ 2.01 million shares traded.
Beyond International Limited (ASX: BYI)
Beyond International Limited is one of the well-renowned and leading production, distribution and digital companies in Australia. The Company has, over the last 30 years, co-produced and distributed high-quality content, with its sales and acquisition teams based in Sydney, Dublin as well as London that work with many reputed factual and kids producers from around the world.
Recently on 1 April 2020, the Company announced the execution of an agreement for the acquisition of TCB Media Rights Ltd., a UK-based television distribution business, from FTI Consulting Canada Inc. in its capacity as the receiver of Kew Media Group, Inc. TCB's portfolio includeskey shows such as Abandoned Engineering, Combat Ships, Egypt’s Unexplained Mysteries, and the recently unveiled Extreme Ice Machines and Hitler’s Supercars.
In an update regarding the Company’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, BYI has now completely closed all its offices and cancelled travel.
The Covid-19 pandemic already had a significant effect on the Company’s business, with television productions being deferred. Beyond Productions is examining ways to create content that do not rely on location principal photography.
With a market capitalisation of around AUD 36.8 million, the BYI stock last traded at AUD 0.600 on 2 April 2020.
Sky Network Television Limited (ASX: SKT)
New Zealand-based Sky Network Television is a pay-television operator, which broadcasts various pay networks via UHF and digital satellite platforms and offers a variety of programming including news, sports, movies, digital radio and pay-per-view events.
Sky is entirely supportive of the New Zealand Government decision to alleviate Covid-19 by imposing Level 4 restrictions in New Zealand and is committed to informing and entertaining the country people during this difficult time at home. At the same time, the Company continues to have few essential staff on site but working under strict safety measures and this small team is ensuring that people have the access to entertainment, news and sports across Sky’s satellite, streaming and free-to-air platforms, as the wider group of its staff is also working from home at present.
Given the uncertain times, Sky Network Television has also withdrawn its revenue and EBITDA guidance for the financial year ending 30 June 2020 (FY20).
With a market capitalisation of ~ AUD 117.73 million and ~ 436.03 million shares outstanding, the SKT stock was trading downward by 5.556% to AUD 0.255 on 6 April 2020 (AEST 12:19 PM).