In brief

  • Streaming service Netflix has announced its best quarterly performance in its more than two decades of operation.
  • Netflix stocks are now up 32% YTD as Netflix signs record new subscribers.
  • In the same period, Bitcoin has struggled while altcoins are showing strong signs of recovery.

Netflix added a whopping 15.7 million new subscribers in Q1 2020, doubling the company's earlier estimate of 7.2 million in its best quarter yet. As one of the few companies to thrive during the pandemic, Netflix also saw its stock price climb by almost 32% YTD, making Netflix one of the best performers in the S&P 500 index.

By contrast, Bitcoin had a relatively poor performance in Q1 2020, falling from $7,200 at the start of the year down to $6,450 by the end of March—equivalent to a loss of more than 10%. Things have picked up somewhat since then, and Bitcoin has climbed back to $7.061, putting it at a net loss of around two percent YTD. Many altcoins, on the other hand, have recorded small gains this year, including Ethereum (+35%), Bitcoin Cash (+9.7%), and Tezos (+79.2%).

Overall, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies now sits at $202 billion—up 5.4% YTD, due to a recent uptick among altcoins.


Netflix's coronavirus boom

Netflix published its first-quarter earnings report yesterday, where the company reported first-quarter revenues of $5.77 billion—narrowly exceeding its initial $5.76 billion estimate. Overall, Netflix posted first-quarter earnings of $709 million, which is equivalent to $1.57 per share—more than double what it achieved in the same period last year.

Much of the streaming service's recent growth occurred after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus to be a worldwide pandemic. In response, governments around the world began implementing and enforcing strict movement controls—forcing most people to stay at home for the majority of their time. As people found themselves with more time on their hands, online streaming services like Netflix and YouTube saw a massive uptick in user activity; both platforms took steps to reduce their traffic burden, reducing the strain on Internet infrastructure.

Netflix credits much of its success to several popular shows launched in the first quarter, including Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, which has been viewed by 64 million households so far, while the Netflix original movie Spenser Confidential broke the 85 million viewer threshold.

Netflix isn't the only media company that exceeded expectations this year. Snap Inc. the company behind Snapchat and Spectacles also smashed analyst predictions by increasing its revenue 44% year-on-year to reach $462.47 million in revenue this past quarter, exceeding expectations by more than 10%. Despite this, Snap Inc. shares are down almost 26% since year start after share prices halved between January and March, before recovering somewhat.


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