Top-ranked media analyst: 'Never bet against the American couch potato'

Benjamin Swinburne of Morgan Stanley, one of the top-ranked media analysts on Wall Street, says changes in consumption habits over the past decade have only reinforced his view that Americans will remain big consumers of entertainment content.

"I've been covering this sector for 17 years. And one thing I always half-jokingly say to investors when they're ready to assume everything's going to zero is: Never bet against the American couch potato, because our desire to consume and actually spend money on content has continued to surprise to the upside," Swinburne said during an in-depth conversation with CNBC's Michael Santoli.

Consumers haven't given up television, but instead are watching shows on demand through their tablets and other media devices, he said. And now they are buying services such as Netflix and Hulu on top of their cable subscriptions, the analyst added.

During this exclusive talk, Swinburne also discusses:

  • His investment outlook for the media industry under President-elect Donald Trump.
  • Mergers and acquisition in the space.
  • His favorite stocks for the months ahead.

PRO subscribers can also read the entire transcript of the exclusive interview below.