EC Netflix Stock: The Cost Of Global Domination

Asia's population represents the majority of the world with gains of 2-3% being more impactful than double-digit gains in North America. According to eMarketer, Netflix's penetration of Asia-Pacific will advance from 11.8% in 2018 to 14.3% in 2020.

Regions, such as China, have high barriers to entry for standalone services, yet Netflix has secured a promising licensing deal with Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) owned QiYi. Netflix's share in Japan remains at 17%, despite launching in 2015, as the country has an older population that is averse to newer technologies.

International markets such as Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa have upside specifically for acquired titles, an area of strength for Netflix.

If Netflix continues to dominate globally, then the company could be serving 50-70% of all developed countries and 20% of the developing world. With the limitations of broadcast and linear television, it is unprecedented to have a truly global media company. We will see the full effects of this once broadband penetration increases and 5G speeds bring OTT content at reasonable speeds to mobile devices.


Broadband Penetration and 5G

The OTT market in the United States has taken a decade to surpass pay-TV, with Hulu launching in 2007, popular set-top-boxes launching circa 2008 and Netflix streaming service launching in 2010. This growth has been assisted with the wide availability of high-speed broadband.

You can expect the global market to take twice that long, or maybe thrice. Broadband is slow to non-existent in many countries, although progress is being made. Brazil, for instance, reports a 20% annual improvement in households with 4 Mbps or greater (Netflix requires 3 Mbps or greater).

Japan and South Korea have nearly 50 million people with speeds of 100 Mbps or higher. Fiber technologies and broadband are prominent in Japan and South Korea, along with Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. There is room for growth once higher broadband rates are achieved in New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, India and the Philippines.

Overall, OTT video is projected to grow to 6.4% of emerging market households, or 103 million in total by the end of 2019. This is up from 19.4 million in 2014. By 2025, digital growth will add over a billion middle-tier consumers for telcos, which will also help to open the market for OTT players.

Media is a universal staple for quality of life, and OTT delivers cheaper content on-demand compared to broadcast or linear television. Some forecasts place 2040 as the pivotal point when essentially every person on the planet will have internet access, up from roughly 50 percent today. With the same data, others are more optimistic and are forecasting 2030.

Gene Munster told CNBC that "Netflix is not going to make a dramatic change to our lives in the next decade." This misses the point entirely that Netflix is set to make a dramatic change for the remaining 6.5 billion people outside of the United States and Western Europe.

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