Netflix Loses ‘The Office’ Will Competitors Take Over?

Netflix has come a long way since it started in 1997. The streaming giant relies heavily on its offerings of hit TV shows like Friends, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Office.

Unfortunately, Netflix will no longer stream The Office from January 2021 as NBC has decided to offer the sitcom in its streaming platform

The Office premiered on NBC last 2015 and used a documentary-style format to follow the workers of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. Led by Steve Carell as the boss, the show presents the mundane yet hilarious day-to-day of the company.

NBC has announced last January that they will launch their version of a streaming service called NBCUniversal in 2020.

According to NBCThe Office was streamed for approximately 52 billion minutes. Last April, the show was considered as the next most-viewed program on streaming video-on-demand. 

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, says, “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.”

Netflix has owned the rights to The Office since 2007. With Disney and NBC creating their streaming service, most of Netflix’s highly viewed content is in jeopardy.

History of Netflix 

Reed Hastings and Marc Rudolph, two software engineers, founded Netflix in 1997. The original idea was to use the Internet to provide an alternative way for consumers to rent DVDs. In April 1998, Netflix was launched as the world’s first online DVD rental store. Before its streaming service, Netflix’s competitor was Blockbuster.

Similar to Blockbuster, Netflix provided a pay-per-rent model for each DVD in the first year. For a membership fee, users can access to Netflix’s more than 500 DVD selection. A user can choose a DVD from their catalog online, and the company would mail the DVD to his/her home. Once finished, the user will send back the DVD to the company. This marketing model proved to be more convenient for users than having to go to a Blockbuster store to rent out VHS tapes or DVDs. 

In 1999, the company introduced its monthly subscription plans. Users can rent unlimited number of DVDs within one month of their subscription. Once their subscription plans gained popularity, Netflix dropped its single-rent DVD options. 

In 2007, Netflix introduced its streaming service. With the birth of Youtube in 2005, the company decided to ride the technological wave by providing streaming services to its customers. By 2010, Netflix has expanded to countries outside the US like Canada and Latin America. 

Aside from expanding, Netflix has decided to create their own content. Its first hit show was House of Cards, which premiered on 2013. The company released all 13 episodes on the same day, giving Netflix users the chance to watch episodes continuously without having to wait for the next airing of the episode as with cable TV.

Since then, Netflix has continued streaming their original movies and TV shows with hits like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and GLOW. In 2018, Netflix earned good ratings for their movies like Bird Box, Velvet Buzzsaw, and Triple Frontier. Documentaries and concerts also fared well with audiences like Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce, respectively.

By 2016, Netflix launched their services to 190 countries, in total.  

Netflix’s competitors

With Netflix success and the continued rise of users preferring streaming services, multiple production companies have started creating their own streaming services. Aside from NBCUniversal, Disney and Apple are also planning to move in the streaming business. 

Netflix’s current competitors are Hulu and Amazon Prime. 
Hulu launched in 2008 with movies and TV shows from various production houses like Netflix. Aside from movies and TV shows, Hulu also provided News and Talk Shows in their list of offerings. In 2011, the company created its first original content — a News show called The Morning After, originally hosted by Brian Kimmet.

Amazon Prime is a premium service that provides Amazon users with free delivery, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, music, and exclusive deals on the website’s shopping section. Amazon Prime was launched in 2005 with its original business to provide free two-day shipping and low rates for one-day shipping of Amazon products to its subscribers. 

In 2011, subscribers had access to stream over 5,000 movies and TV shows. In 2015, Amazon collaborated with 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks to produce their first original content titled Chi-Raq. The movie stars Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Angela Basset, Wesley Snipes, and Samuel L. Jackson. 

Despite Netflix’s current and soon-to-be competitors, Morris Mark, one of Netflix’s investors, is not worried about Netflix’s foothold in the streaming industry. According to Mark, Netflix is becoming a staple in household video bundles, while allowing room for other streaming services, such as Hulu or Amazon Prime. 

Netflix has continued investing in creating its original content hiring the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy.

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