Netflix has a foot in the door in China, but it might not be a big deal

Netflix's China deal: Will it boost earnings?

Netflix may have just secured a foothold in the world's second-largest consumer market but that could be a non-event, for now.

The streaming giant announced it had clinched a licensing deal with iQiyi, a Chinese video platform, but this could be largely "immaterial," an analyst said. IQiyi counts Chinese search company Baidu as a parent.

"(T)his is probably going to be immaterial based on other similar deals in the region," Constellation Research Principal Analyst Ray Wang told CNBC's "The Rundown."

"The question is what kind of cut does Netflix get. We don't think it's going to be much," Wang added.

Netflix has attempted to break into the China market in the past, but has acknowledged the "regulatory environment" was "challenging" in a letter to shareholders last year. The company also said it would rely on licensing content to existing streaming platforms in China instead, adding it expected licensing revenues to be "modest."

Netflix closes up 6% on China licensing deal

Still, there could be some benefits in store for Netflix from the deal.

"This is the largest market in the world ... What they're hoping to do, I think, is to get the Netflix branding and programming into a market legally," Wang said, adding that entering the market before other Western competitors could be good for Netflix in the long term.

As for why shares of the company rose almost 6 percent after news of the licensing deal broke, Wang said it was possible that investors simply did not realize what the terms of the agreement were.

"They were probably reacting to the fact that (Netflix) was now in one of the largest consumer markets in the world," Wang said.

"Partnering is the only way for distribution to get into this market and it's still at best risky, which is why I can understand why (Netflix CEO) Reed Hastings has been very cautious (in) talking about things being immaterial in that market," Wang added.