July 11, 2019

As legacy shows disappear from Netflix, the streaming giant searches for meaning

Netflix is losing shows left and right as every legacy TV brand and their mother are getting into streaming.

Netflix is hemorrhaging its most popular shows as an onslaught of legacy TV giants all launch streaming services by Q1 of 2020.

To counteract the loss of its biggest shows, the streaming giant has been spending billions on new original content — primarily comedy specials and documentaries — exclusive to the service to keep customers from fleeing. 

But, according to CNBC, some analysts are worried that rom-coms and comedy specials starring anyone who’s ever stood on stage and told a joke may not cut the mustard when it comes to keeping users on its platform.

And just like that, the growth spurt may stop

For years, Wall Street has valued Netflix not for its profits (or lack thereof) — but for its subscriber growth. It’s now at around 155m globally and growing.

But, on Tuesday, WarnerMedia announced its new streaming service, HBO Max, will take the exclusive rights to “Friends” and remove it from Netflix, which follows NBCUniversal’s announcement in June that it will remove “The Office” in 2021.

Those 2 shows are Netflix’s most popular content by far, accounting for almost 5% of viewing hours in 2018, according to Rosenblatt Securities internet and media analyst Mark Zgutowicz.

But don’t feel too bad for Netflix 

There’s plenty of consumer cash to go around. 

But now, as more and more legacy media companies embrace the stream, the chance of companies like Disney and NBCUniversal capturing a favorable chunk of Netflix’s valuation are about as good as the chances of Ozark Season 2 having 5 stars (… because what Netflix original doesn’t?). 

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