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1 big thing: The campaign to dethrone Netflix

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Everyone wants a piece of the $19 billion U.S. subscription video market that Netflix created, then cornered, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

The big picture: Netflix has already reached saturation in the U.S. with nearly 60 million domestic subscribers, and it can't afford to lose customers to new streaming rivals.

  • NBC plans to launch a streaming service next year.
  • AT&T (with WarnerMedia) and Disney (with 21st Century Fox) both plan to launch similar subscription video services this year.
  • Hulu now has more subscribers (25 million) than Comcast, the biggest cable company in the U.S.
  • And don't forget Amazon Prime, which has been the biggest Netflix competitor to date.

Between the lines: Many of the networks involved in rival services have begun pulling back on licensing their content to Netflix, promoting exclusivity to their own content instead.

  • This is why AT&T said last year that it will only license "Friends" to Netflix for a year before it launches its own service.

It's also why Netflix is pouring billions into creating more of its own original content series for TV:

  • The new hit "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo"
  • Hyper-localized content series like "Sacred Games" in India
  • Movies like the viral sensation "Bird Box"

Yes, but: Netflix may have an even bigger headache to deal with: free competition.

  • Digital streaming TV companies that don't charge people for access are rising as consumers face saturated budgets for subscription content.
  • Services with ad-supported channels or tiers, like Roku and Hulu, are booming.
  • And pay-TV companies like AT&T, Dish and now Comcast (which owns NBCUniversal) are giving subscribers access to new streaming video services for free.

What's next: The company reports earnings for Q4 tomorrow. Analysts seem bullish that Netflix will announce record subscriber growth.

Go deeper:

Bonus: This is why the shutdown won't end
Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Note: Survey of U.S. adults. In 2018, the survey question changed from do you favor "building a wall along the entire border with Mexico" to "substantially expanding the wall along the border with Mexico"; Chart: Axios Visuals

Go deeper, via Axios' David Nather

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3. 1 phone thing

Models with their bodies painted in gold show Motorola's Razr2 Luxury Edition in 2008. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

"The Motorola Razr phone ... is being revived as a smartphone with a foldable screen and a starting price of roughly $1,500," WSJ reports.

  • "Lenovo, a Chinese computer maker that bought the Motorola Mobility handset business from Google in 2014, plans to manufacture about 200,000 of the new high-end phones."