Netflix (NFLX ) confirmed last week that it will be expanding its subscription service to include video games, starting with ad-free games for mobile devices at no additional costs to subscribers. This latest move by the world's largest subscription video service could heat up competition in the industry and push video game themed exchange-traded funds higher.
New entrants to the market can always start some level of competition, but Netflix isn't alone by expanding into gaming when it comes to Big Tech. Apple (AAPL ) has extended its streaming unit to include a gaming arm called Apple Arcade. Google (GOOGL ) has created its own game-streaming service named Stadia, while Amazon (AMZN ) has invested in Luna, its own video game streaming service, and has its own gaming studio. Google and Amazon also operate heavily in the popular gaming streaming market with their respective YouTube Gaming and Twitch segments.
But Netflix stands out by making games part of its one and only subscription for the entirety of its content, which includes original TV shows and movies. Others offer their gaming services as standalone products or as add-ons to their base subscription.
As far as gaming ETFs go, Global X Video Games & Esports ETF (HERO ) can majorly benefit from Netflix's foray into the industry, as it will likely drive more competition from gaming giants like Electronic Arts (EA ) and Activision Blizzard (ATVI ), and the addition of Netflix and other Big Tech giants to its holdings could also drive the fund, and the market, higher.
Global X highlights that the global gaming market increased more than 20% from 2019 to 2020, exceeding $175 billion. "Forecasts suggest the market could surpass $200 billion by 2023," the firm stated on its website.
HERO seeks to invest in companies that develop or publish video games, as well as facilitate the streaming and distribution of video gaming, along with other investment strategies. With Netflix's plans to eventually expand ultimately into console games for Xbox (MSFT ) and PlayStation (SONY ), and possibly develop its own games if it finds success in the industry, Netflix will fit right in with HERO's other holdings.