Interactive media and services (IM&S) is a broad umbrella covering many different businesses. For example, some companies in this sector focus on video streaming, while others operate online stores or specialize in digital advertising. Even within these categories, there is a wide range of sub-categories for investors to choose from when buying into this space. However, with the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, digital commerce sites like Shopify and Etsy, and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, investing in IM&S stocks has become more prevalent in recent years.
Russian tech company Yandex (YNDX) was founded in 2000 to help to digitize the Russian economy. It offers a wide range of services, including search, eCommerce, ride-hailing, taxi booking, ride-sharing, maps, advertising, and more. Yandex is a strong player in the Russian online services and eCommerce space, and it also serves other countries in Central and Eastern Europe with localized services. Yandex’s focus on emerging markets has increased due to a lack of competition and low internet penetration in many of its home countries. Yandex’s current growth appears to be driven by a shift to mobile, a focus on AI and machine learning, and its aggressive push into ride-hailing.
Weibo (WB) is a Chinese social media service that operates like Twitter (TWTR). It enables users to upload short videos, pictures, web links, and texts that can be shared with followers. Weibo also allows for public and private group discussions, and it’s best known for allowing people to post short, quick updates that are like shorter, snarkier versions of blog posts. Weibo has also become increasingly focused on eCommerce over the last few years, allowing businesses to create storefronts within the app. This diversified revenue stream has helped Weibo generate strong revenue growth, and it’s expected to continue as Chinese eCommerce grows. Weibo has also been growing its user base; quiexpandingd has become a popular social media platform in Asia, making it a strong play for long-term growth.
Snap, Inc (SNAP)
Snap, Inc. (SNAP) is the company behind the popular social media platform Snapchat. The company was founded in 2011 and launched Snapchat in 2012. Since its launch, Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media apps among teens and young people. Snapchat has proven to be a very engaging platform, with over 60% of content being replayed. Over the past several years, the company has explored other ways of monetizing its app, introducing features such as filters and Discover, among others. To date, Snapchat’s primary form of monetization is through advertising, which has become increasingly sophisticated and highly targeted.
Match Group (MTCH)
Match Group (MTCH) is the parent company behind several popular dating and relationship websites and apps, the most notable of which is Tinder. The company has seen much growth over recent years thanks to concentrating on a few core dating brands rather than diversifying its product portfolio. Match Group also owns several other popular dating apps, including OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, as well as dating websites like Match.com.This diversified approach to dating has given it a broad customer base, and revenue has grown accordingly.
Yandex is expected to benefit from increased mobile usage and the growth of eCommerce in Russia and the broader region. Weibo has been growing its user base of late and is a strong player for long-term growth in the Chinese eCommerce market. Snap, Inc. has a popular social media platform among teens and young people and has been exploring ways of monetizing its app. Match Group owns and operates several dating websites and apps, including Tinder.