The Discovery+ home screen on a smartphone. Photo by Bloomberg
The Briefing

Streaming’s Fuzzy Picture: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Photo: The Discovery+ home screen on a smartphone. Photo by Bloomberg

All those worries about the impact of cord-cutting seem to be in the rear-view mirror. The latest group of stocks to take flight are the traditional entertainment companies, proving that for media investors, it doesn’t matter how troubled your business is as long as you have a streaming story to tell. Take TV firm Discovery, whose stock rose 9% on Monday after the company reported its net income fell nearly in half on revenue that was flat. That brings its price appreciation since late October to 180%, echoed by similar rallies in the stocks of ViacomCBS and Disney.

Investors of course look ahead, and their focus lately has been on new streaming services, such as Discovery+ (the plus symbol being de rigueur nowadays for new streaming names). That new service has added close to seven million subscribers globally since it launched seven weeks ago, Discovery executives indicated today, of which more than half are in the U.S. As impressive as that is, it doesn’t justify the current investor euphoria.

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