More Alliances and Betrayals in the Online Streaming Wars

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) have announced a groundbreaking partnership that will put the Amazon Prime streaming service on Apple TV. This is the most recent move in the online streaming wars, which have been ratcheting up significantly as of late.

While some of these alliances and attacks may seem like they’re out of “Game of Thrones” or “House of Cards,” it’s all business and each company is looking to put its streaming service on the throne.

Something worth pointing out about this partnership is that it will encourage Amazon to start selling Apple TV again on its e-commerce platform. Previously, Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, had refused to sell Apple TV in lieu of pushing Amazon’s own apps and devices. This would be the first time that Amazon sold Apple TV since 2015.

This change of heart by Amazon comes at another critical junction for the company when Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is pulling its YouTube platform from Amazon. In a recent, unprecedented move, Alphabet has decided to remove YouTube from all Amazon’s Fire TV products and the Echo Show. This will be effective January 1, 2018, for the Fire TV products, and effective immediately for the Echo Show.

In a way it makes sense for Amazon to partner with Apple at this point. On the surface it seems petty for Alphabet to block access to an open website, but with Amazon Web Services dominating the cloud arena, Alphabet has to push back somehow.

For years Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) more or less had a stranglehold on Apple TV as a premier online streaming service, but now with Amazon moving in, it does pose a very real threat. Netflix seems to be getting it on all sides recently, with Disney deciding to pull its content and starting its own online streaming service.

Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) broke onto the streaming scene recently, and while it does not have a streaming service the way that Netflix or Hulu might have, it does offer a platform that has access to all these services. This company is still finding its way with all these giants fighting over content, but it has a nice niche and could potentially be a buyout target in the future if its platform continues to gain traction.

Shares of Amazon were last seen at $1,162.00, with a consensus analyst price target of $1,258.16 and a 52-week trading range of $747.70 to $1,213.41.

Apple shares most recently closed at $169.37. The stock has a 52-week range of $112.31 to $176.24 and a consensus price target of $187.74.

Netflix was trading at $188.54 a share. The consensus price target is $215.03, and the 52-week range is $121.73 to $204.38.

Shares of Alphabet closed at $1,049.38, in a 52-week range of $789.62 to $1,080.00. The consensus price target is $1,178.57.

And Roku was last trading at $44.79, with a consensus price target of $31.60 and a 52-week range of $15.75 to $51.80.