When it comes streaming entertainment, the landscape is definitely changing. Where Netflix was once one of the only options fans had, there are an ever-increasing number of options out there and we don't just mean Hulu. Disney and Apple both are coming in with their own services and original programming designed specifically for them. They're also going to likely be taking some of their existing programs off of other services, meaning that Netflix could well lose some of its more popular titles. However, despite a recent report that Netflix may find itself having to say goodbye to its biggest show, The Office, the service wants subscribers to know there's nothing to worry about for now.
A recent report in the Wall Street Journal confirmed that The Office is one of Netflix's most-watched shows and suggested that when the contract Netflix has with NBCUniversal for streaming rights to the fan-favorite series' reruns expires, the service may have to soldier on without it.
"NBCUniversal, which owns the show, licensed reruns of the comedy to the streaming-video giant years ago," the report notes. "Now, NBCUniversal is launching its own streaming service, and has begun internal discussions about removing The Office from Netflix when the contract expires in 2021, according to people familiar with the situation."
Netflix, however, doesn't appear to be too worried. They soon took to Twitter to remind fans that The Office isn't going anywhere before 2021 and maybe not even then.
Hello it's me with your regularly scheduled reminder that The Office will be on Netflix until 2021 — at least!— Netflix US (@netflix) April 24, 2019
"Hello it's me with your regularly scheduled reminder that The Office will be on Netflix until 2021 -- at least!"
That reassurance will be welcome by some fans for sure as it ensures them a bit over a year and a half worth of enjoyment of the series on Netflix. However, even with The Office not going anywhere for a while, there are still real questions about how things will look in the streaming landscape in the relatively near future. Disney+ is set to debut this fall and will contain the entire Disney library (including Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars) and is set to be a good bit cheaper than Netflix at $6.99 per month -- roughly half of Netflix's current pricing. When that news was announced earlier this month, Netflix shares dropped by 2% -- a drop that shed around $3.2 billion from Netflix's market value.
Of course, even with the competition ramping up, Netflix does have something of a unique position at least when it comes to Disney+, at least according to some analysts.
“Bottom-line, Disney+ features family content, while NFLX offers a much broader range of content with the majority of the most-searched content on the platform,” analysts from SunTrust wrote. “As such, we do not view Disney+ as a strong alternative to NFLX.”
That broader range of content includes Netflix's original series and while shows with many seasons are extremely popular in terms of watch time, according to a Netflix spokesperson, watch time doesn't tell the full story. There's just as much interest for the platform's original series as well.
"Looking at overall watch time skews towards titles with many seasons," a Netflix spokesperson explained. "Most Netflix originals have three or fewer seasons at most. It's why we focus on the individual shows or films members watch, as opposed to how much time they spend on one series versus another. And if you look at most watched titles, Netflix originals accounted for 10 out of 10 in the last quarter, or 21 out of the top 25."
However it all shakes out, The Office appears to be safe for now.
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