The streaming stocks have been quite a mixed bag in recent quarters, with the streaming king and pioneer Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) continuing to surge above and beyond expectations. Indeed, the sheer strength in NFLX stock makes it seem like we’re living back in the days of FAANG. As Netflix’s rally gets long in the tooth, many investors may wonder what’s up next for the streaming scene, as ads, video games, generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), and “immersive” spatial content are thrown into the mix.
Though streaming is no longer “magical,” I believe the market is primed for growth as new platforms and media experience growth over the coming year and beyond. With that, let’s check in with three streaming stocks I wouldn’t dare bet against as streaming looks to make its biggest pivot in a decade.
Streaming Stocks: Apple (AAPL)
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been a slow mover into the streaming space, but it’s a tortoise that investors shouldn’t count out of the race as it looks to bolster its impressive services business. I believe the Vision Pro spatial computer launch could be a boon for its streaming service, Apple TV+. Not only can you view videos from the platform via a digital screen on Vision Pro, but there’s a very intriguing, albeit quite limited, selection of immersive content.
Apple Immersive is what Apple’s calling it, and it’s only available on Vision Pro devices. For now, the immersive content is excellent to “show off” to prospective buyers looking to try the device at the local Apple Store. However, in a few years, I’d be unsurprised if the Apple Immersive library swells in size, perhaps by enough for users to justify paying up for their own Vision Pro.
Though Apple TV+ is relatively lightweight in the streaming scene today, I’d not be shocked to see it make a run for Netflix’s crown if spatial computing and immersive content gain in adoption over the next five years. Personally, I view Apple as a streamer that’s thinking years ahead of the pack.
Netflix stock’s jaw-dropping performance over the past two years warrants the respect of growth investors and perhaps even a round of applause. The stock is up over 230% since its May 2022 low and isn’t showing any signs of cooling off as the company continues to do its best to entertain customers in what is a new era of growth for the firm.
The company has proven to the world that it can stay ahead of the pack, even as new streaming rivals look to steal its lunch. As products like Apple Vision Pro drag consumers into the realm of 3D content, I couldn’t be more excited for the future growth prospects of the streamers. For now, Netflix is sitting on the sidelines, with no plans (at least not yet) to launch an app for the Vision Pro. Netflix now views Apple’s spatial computer as a “subscale.”
As more users adopt the technology, it’s a matter of time before Netflix lands on Vision Pro, perhaps with some 3D content similar to the immersive content currently available via Apple TV+. Of course, Apple must prove that its headset and immersive content are lucrative enough to bring in the big bucks.
Only time will tell if immersive content pays off in these early innings of spatial computing. Either way, I’m sure Netflix will be keeping tabs as the streaming industry evolves to make good use of nascent technologies.
Finally, we have Disney (NYSE:DIS), an entertainment and media firm that’s lost its way in recent years. Unlike Netflix, Disney has embraced the Vision Pro in its early stages, with its streaming app, Disney+, available on visionOS alongside its impressive content library. Though Vision Pro remains a niche product today, Disney is wise to be getting into the spatial computing scene ahead of some of its peers.
Of course, Disney+ has been a costly double-edged sword for the company in recent years. And though immersive content could be the realm that allows the firm to bring some magic back to the ailing firm, investors ought to be patient as Disney does its best to turn things around.
In the meantime, DIS stock investors seem rattled by recent shifts in the sports streaming market. As Disney joins forces with other streamers, such fears are unwarranted. Disney’s sports edge could be taken to the next level with some partners’ help.
On the date of publication, Joey Frenette owned shares of Apple and Disney. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.