They're coming from all directions at Netflix (NAS: NFLX) .
Its closest streaming competitor got stronger. A new rival was born when Redbox teamed up with the country's leading wireless carrier with plans to roll out a competing digital service later this year.
Netflix wasn't perfect last year, when its stock was peaking just above $300. The company is even more imperfect now at less than half that price. However, Netflix has 23.5 million streaming customers worldwide, and that's 23.5 million more premium subscribers than anyone else at this point.
The challengers will come. However, there are certain things that come with Netflix's girth. No one can pay as well as Netflix -- unless it's an upstart with a death wish -- because no one can divide the investment by a pool of paying couch potatoes as deep as Reed Hastings' company.
There has never been a dull moment watching Netflix, but this year promises to be more action-packed than even last year's sharp ascent and brutal crash.
Pass the popcorn.
Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
OpenTable (NAS: OPEN) served up better-than-expected results, but investors sent the stock back to the kitchen, fearing that its near-term prospects aren't so hot. There are now more than 25,000 restaurants worldwide using OpenTable's platform for Web-based dining reservations.
Akamai (NAS: AKAM) shares climbed after posting strong financials and raising its guidance. Investors fearing that content-delivery networks were on the way out given last year's competitive pricing underestimated this niche leader.
Activision Blizzard (NAS: ATVI) continues to shed World of Warcraft players, but there's strength in its other key franchises. A third of the leading video-game company's revenue now stems from digital sales.
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At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard and OpenTable and has written calls on Activision Blizzard.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Netflix, Activision Blizzard, and OpenTable and creating a synthetic long position in Activision Blizzard. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He owns shares of Netflix and is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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