Titans of the media and technology world are ushering in a new era in entertainment. The name of the game is selling streaming subscriptions—and our recent Next Investor Outlook revealed that millennial investors are taking note. A meaningful portion of this key demographic holds shares of contenders in the streaming wars, both new and established. Here we recap our findings, which are based on the Apex Millennial 100, a ranking of the top 100 stocks owned by a subset of millennials. You can check out the full list of stocks as of December 31, 2019 here.
Head over heels for Baby Yoda
A popular streaming play among millennial investors is Walt Disney, which ranks #7 in the Apex Millennial 100. The media giant—already home to streaming hubs ESPN+ and Hulu—launched a new streaming service, Disney+, in November 2019 and signed up 10 million customers in its first day.1 Its popularity grew in the following weeks as viewers fell in love with Baby Yoda, an adorable character featured on the platform’s marquee series, The Mandalorian. Disney+ also showcases a treasure trove of older content, including movie classics Fantasia and Beauty and the Beast—so perhaps millennial investors are also waxing a bit nostalgic over childhood favorites. By year-end 2019, Disney+ had signed on 26.5 million subscribers.2
Apple (#1) has also stepped into the ring by launching its TV+ streaming service, featuring original content and the ability to add on other services, such as Showtime and HBO. Additionally, millennial investors have shown interest in old-guard media company AT&T (#14), whose WarnerMedia unit is planning to spend billions to launch HBO Max, a new collection of premium streaming content.3 Other streaming incumbents that are well-liked among millennial investors include Amazon via Prime Video (#2) and Alphabet via Google’s YouTube (#12), as well as Roku (#26), a producer of streaming players and smart TVs.
No love lost for Netflix, the original streaming king
Despite the increasingly crowded field, the next generation of investors still backs Netflix (#8), the “OG” streaming provider. Its subscriber base has grown from 62 million paying customers at the beginning of 2015 to about 158 million at year-end 2019—and over the last five years, the share price has increased almost six-fold.4 Although competition is growing, Netflix isn’t slowing down, adding 6.8 million subscribers during a recent quarter.
The company addressed its competition head-on in a letter to investors, writing, “We did well during the first decade of streaming. We’ve been preparing for this new wave of competition for a long time. It’s why we started investing in originals in 2012 and expanded aggressively ever since … We’re ready to compete to earn consumers’ attention and viewing.”5 Millennials—who reportedly spend more than 46 hours each week watching Netflix6—seem to like what they see and feel confident investing in the future of Netflix.6
What this means for financial service providers
Millennial investing habits are serious business, as the critical demographic is poised to see its share of the national wealth quadruple by 2030.7 For advisory practices and financial services firms interested in working with millennials, we believe this data highlights the value of offering education around concepts like diversification, asset allocation and portfolio construction to help younger investors understand and adopt best practices, given millennials’ high levels of exposure to certain pockets of the market, such as tech and streaming. Forward-thinking providers are weaving millennial investors’ motivations into discussions about financial and investment objectives, and, when appropriate, adapting investment strategies to include unique exposures.
For more details about our proprietary data, our other key findings and what they mean for financial services providers, read the full report: