Netflix May Be Preparing to Raise Prices, but It Is a Necessary Evil

 | May 15, 2017 | 8:27 AM EDT
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A night of Netflix  (NFLX) and chill could become more expensive, if one is to read into what the digital video beast is doing in Australia. 

Netflix has been quietly testing out users' reactions to higher subscription fees ahead of the introduction of a so-called "Netflix tax" in the country, which arrives on from July 1, according to Buzzfeed. The story says users laid eyes on a basic ­service increase of $1 to $9.99 a month, the standard service went up $2 to$13.99 a month and the premium service rose from $14.99 to $17.99.

Depending on the reactions, Netflix could very well do something like this in the U.S. The reason for doing so would be simple: it has to.

 

Wishing it was the weekend again, Netflix and chilling. ��

A post shared by Butters (@crazy_butters) on

For one, Wall Street has valued Netflix as having a good deal of pricing power. The Street has seemingly forgotten the harsh reaction to Netflix raising prices back in 2011 and how the streaming giant had to backtrack. To keep Netflix shares hovering at insane levels, CEO Reed Hastings will have to push some form of serious price hikes through -- and not five years from now.

Secondarily, Netflix has to raise prices to support rising sums to develop content and lay the foundation for its streaming service across the world. Keep in mind Netflix continues to burn through an absurd amount of cash. At some point Wall Street will demand cash generation, consistent if possible.

Start saving those pennies, Netflix users.

Read This Or Lose Out

Tesla gets whacked: With a stock that has surged 52% this year despite shaky corporate fundamentals, here come the intra-quarter downgrades and concerning notes on Tesla (TSLA) from Wall Street analysts. Shares of the electric car maker fell as much as 3% on Monday as a notable Tesla bull at Morgan Stanley slashed his rating and raised worries about Tesla's cash usage. 

And hey, not for nothing; Elon Musk's last earnings call really stunk. One couldn't possibly have come away confident in the company from that call. 

General Motors' Uber rival arrives in NYC: Ever so quietly, General Motors' (GM) relatively new ride-sharing service Maven is expanding. On Monday, GM announced that Maven is live in New York City. About 80 cars will be parked in Manhattan for usage. 

The Street just sat down with the head of Maven. Learn something by watching the video below. 

About that Lamborghini: If you own a Lamborghini, please do send me in a picture and any fun stories you have. Two weeks ago, I got to have a Lambo for a few days to review and, well, how people reacted was quite interesting. It's almost as if folks forgot about moving traffic -- they wanted to take selfies with this $313,000 piece of fine Italian art. 

Here is our full review, video below. 

Damn right: The U.S. still boasts the most powerful military in the world, easily topping both Russia and China, according to military analytics website Global Firepower. The U.S. spends almost $600 billion a year on its defense budget and has an "available manpower" of 145,215,000.

Where you at, North Korea.

Source: Global Firepower.

Sorry Apple, it will be tough to crack this market: Ahead of Apple (AAPL) potentially launching an Amazon (AMZN) Echo like speaker, some new data hint doing so may be a challenge. The Amazon Echo holds a dominant 70.6% market share of the voice-enabled speaker market, according to new data from eMarketer. Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google Home clocks in with a solid 23.8% share of the market, while smaller players such as Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon, and Mattel (MAT) hold down the remaining spots.

The Chinese embark on cruise vacations: The number of people taking a cruise in China has risen tenfold in five years, to about two million in 2016, Bloomberg points out . The Chinese government expects 4.5 million passengers by the end of the decade.

While Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) have begun to cash in on China, it should be noted the Chinese have started to build their own cruise ships. A battle is brewing. 

Apple and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL or GOOGL? Learn more now.

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