Microsoft will buy Netflix in the next few years, to shore up its content business and make sure it isn’t left behind by its biggest rival in the streaming stakes, Apple. This is according to Wall Street media analyst (and former Rolling Stone publisher) Porter Bibb who has had some 40 years in the business predicting these things.
Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box, Bibb believes that Microsoft is one of the few companies with deep enough pockets for Netflix and it would fill a massive content and platform hole the computing giant currently has.
Lack of content
“[Microsoft’s] moving as fast as they can into the cloud business. They don’t have any direct to the consumer content delivery,” he explained.
“I think Netflix is going to be acquired by Microsoft, which doesn’t have any content right now.”
It may seem far fetched but there is some history between CEO Reed Hastings and Microsoft. Up until 2012 he was on the board at Microsoft, a position he held for five years, leaving to focus more on Netflix.
This was at the same time when Netflix was in turnaround, coming off the back of a share drop – due in part to the decision to split the DVD and streaming side of the business – and into the beginning of Reed’s Netflix vision that we all know about today.
Skip to today and Netflix is in rude health, shares are up 100% year on year and its valued around $140 billion. If Microsoft was to buy it, it would be one of its most expensive acquisitions ever, eclipsing its buy up of LinkedIn which was for a mere $26B.
It’s just analysts being analysts for now, but Netflix is set to see significant competition when Disney enters the streaming market. We’re not sure if Microsoft is the one to help it survive this ride but it would be interesting to find out.