Since it became available on Netflix, “The Office” has been the tech giant’s most watched show, accounting for 7 percent of all views. Folks who are die-hard fans, or those who were new to the show and classic episodes like “Diversity Day”, were a huge part of the reason Netflix has seen so much success over the past years. Now, that time is coming to an end and it may be the beginning of a much more complicated battle as streaming wars among media giants ramp up.
Netflix confirmed that The Office will be heading over to a different streaming service.
“We’re sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” the company tweeted.
It’s not surprising that NBC decided to yank The Office for its own soon-to-be-released streaming platform. In a press release, Chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises Bonnie Hammer said:
“‘The Office’ has become a staple of pop-culture and is a rare gem whose relevance continues to grow at a time when fans have more entertainment choices than ever before. We can’t wait to welcome the gang from Dunder Mifflin to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.”
We're sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts' content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021
— Netflix (@netflix) June 25, 2019
On the surface, it’s a smart business move. The Office’s relevance has continued years past the show’s end and it’s unlikely that it will lose popularity anytime soon. However, there’s a deep problem with networks and businesses seeking to develop their own streaming services.
Don’t get me wrong, competition in the tech world is great. However, the beauty of Netflix — as a platform — was that you could get all of your favorite shows in one place. As streaming gained popularity, it meant that consumers only had to pay for one monthly subscription to see shows from multiple networks.
Now, as companies like Disney and NBCUniversal prepare to launch their own services, they ironically threaten to make streaming platforms irrelevant. Even BET has jumped into the streaming arena with the announcement of BET+, a platform that was announced during this year’s BET Awards.
For many customers, the switch to streaming happened so they could forgo paying expensive cable bills, but with specific shows exclusively on certain platforms, it really just ends up being the same thing, and may not even work. Companies are banking on the hope that people will pay for multiple streaming services just to watch their favorite shows, even if it equates to the same amount of money they used to pay for an expensive cable package.
It seems as though Netflix has been preparing for some of its hit shows to leave for a while now. The company has signed exclusive deals with notable industry figures like Shonda Rhimes and has spending loads of cash on original programming over the past several years.
Fans of the office who don’t want to sign up for NBC’s forthcoming service should be sad, yes. But they should be even sadder about the future of streaming as a whole.
Hence, maybe this is the reason for an increase in original content.