5 Stocks to Benefit From the Changing Media Landscape

NEW YORK ( Stockpickr) -- Unless you've been invested in Apple ( AAPL), you've probably lost money in most of your media-oriented investments. That's because the major networks, the record labels, the video game console makers and the live music promoters have all seen a slowdown in business as consumers spend more time on their iPhones, iPads and iPods.

Yet behind the scenes, there are a range of companies that aren't ready to concede "game over." They're adapting to new media consumption habits, figuring out ways to get consumers' attention, or at least help existing media companies win back lost mind share.

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Here are five companies that hope to be major players when the current entertainment industry transition is complete.  


Telecom service provider Verizon ( VZ) had big plans for its FiOS cable service that offers super-fast internet connections. Trouble is, consumers haven't been in the habit of watching cable TV as much these days. To create a more compelling offering to attract customers, Verizon has partnered with Coinstar ( CSTR), jointly promoting that firm's Redbox DVD service that will soon offer Netflix-style streaming services.

This digital download effort marries Verizon's massive customer base (including mobile users that can stream movies) with Coinstar's already large base of installed customers that have been using its DVD-by-kiosk service.

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Shares of Coinstar have fallen from $70 to $45 in the past three months on concerns about high upfront costs to launch the DVD streaming service, which creates a solid entry point for this media/technology game-changer. Shares now trade for less than 10 times projected 2013 profits.


Consumer research firm Nielsen Holdings ( NLSN) has been the vendor of choice for broadcast networks that want to measure the size of their audiences. Yet consumers are no longer holed up in front of TV set as much anymore, and it's becoming harder to track them. Even when they do watch shows, they are increasingly doing so through sites like Hulu.com.

That's where Rentrak ( RENT) comes in. The company offers media consumption measurement services, but well beyond the basic TV. Rentrak monitors consumers habits in the online world, providing a clearer read of what is being viewed and by whom. It's an essential service for advertisers as they wade into the still-uncertain landscape of online viewership.

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