Netflix (NFLX) to Focus on News-Oriented Documentaries

Video streaming giant Netflix, Inc.NFLX is trying to break into the lucrative news genre. At itsearnings conference call the company said it was exploring new genres especially news programming and is willing to take on the likes Vice Media in the next two years.

As per sources, a Netflix spokesperson later clarified that the company is looking forward to bringing high quality news oriented documentaries rather than reporting live news.

Netflix is rapidly trying to expand its presence in areas such as online documentaries. As millennials move to Internet TV and look for meaningful content, online documentaries are a sure shot way of expanding the subscriber base.

Analysts attribute Vice Media's explosive growth primarily due to high demand for "edgy content." The company has built a strong multibillion dollar empire by engaging in "immersive investigative journalism." Apart from its own digital distribution platform, the company has signed a deal with Time Warner's TWX to showcase weekly Vice documentaries and "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" on HBO. Vice's offering on HBO has received strong response from viewers.

As the fight for subscribers intensifies, Netflix is making its own strategies. Earlier this year, Netflix struck a deal with Silverback Productions and World Wildlife Fund for Nature for an eight-part documentary series called "Our Earth." The documentary will be shot in Ultra HD 4K format and will be released in 2019.

Silverback and WWF are well known for their award winning documentaries like Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Blue Planet. It has also struck a partnership with Leonardo Di Caprio's Appian Way Production Company to focus on conservation of wildlife issues.

Netflix and Appian Way's "Virunga" documentary on endangered gorillas in Congo's Virunga National Park earned an Oscar nomination. Another documentary that won rave reviews was "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom."

However, Netflix said it has no interest in venturing in to the live sports broadcasting arena.

At present Netflix carries Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the same space woth consideration include AMC Networks Inc. AMCX and Entercom Communications Corp. ETM . Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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