Last night at the Golden Globe awards, the streaming giant notched several wins for the Mexican film "Roma," comedy series "The Kominsky Method," and "The Bodyguard," the last of which won a best actor award for its lead, Richard Madden. On Monday, Netflix shares were up more than 5% as of mid-day and are up more than 17% this year.
For Netflix, the Golden Globes amount to more than just bragging rights. Strong original content may correlate with growth in new subscribers, as analysts have noted in recent quarters. That's a closely-watched metric for Netflix investors as the company braces for heightened competition arriving later this year.
Chief among its competitors is Disney (DIS) - Get Report , which is expected to roll out its own streaming service, Disney+, in late 2019. In an interview with Barron's over the weekend, Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that blockbuster films like Star Wars installments would be saved for the big screen, but that "we're looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business" for the streaming service, as well as movies with budgets of around $100 million or less, he said. Disney also plans to end its licensing relationship with Netflix at the end of this year, pulling its popular content from its rival.
Nonetheless, Netflix could deliver some good news to investors when it reports its fourth quarter results later this month, according to PiperJaffray's Michael Olson.
Based on an analysis of Google search trends, Olson wrote in a note on Monday that Netflix could see accelerated subscriber growth for the fourth quarter equivalent to 11.5% year-over-year growth domestically versus a 10% consensus. And internationally, PiperJaffray's model points to 46% growth. While there's room for error in the search index model, Olson noted, it shows a "high likelihood of a strong Q4 for Netflix domestic sub adds," with international growth in line with expectations.
"There will be increasing competition and unforeseen hurdles, but we think Netflix has reached 'escape velocity,'" he added. "As the consumer content dollar shifts from traditional TV to internet delivery, we believe the market will support multiple players, with Netflix leading the way."
Netflix is due to report its fourth quarter results after the market close on Jan. 17.