Netflix Is Losing Its Most Popular Show in 2021
The company has long been the largest and most important streaming service around. But it hasn't grown to boast a user base far larger than those of runners-up like Hulu and Amazon's Prime Video on its own -- it had help from content partners. These developments could challenge Netflix's hold on quality licensed content, because content creators like NBCUniversal are likely to want their biggest hits on their own streaming platforms -- which is how we find ourselves here today, learning that Netflix is losing The Office. The increasingly tribal nature of streaming services means that, for the most part, you can expect Disney shows and movies to turn up on Disney+ (and Hulu), WarnerMedia properties to stream on WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service, and so on. So when Comcast announced that its streaming service would be coming out within a couple of years, Netflix ought to have known that The Office was on the clock. But sorting out all of these properties into their most efficient homes will take time. Some may be on long-term contracts. I've written about Netflix's tricky situation before: how Netflix's original content (once a great bonus on a platform full of licensed hits) may have to bear a much bigger burden as licensed content departs -- and how Netflix might try to revive shows its new rivals have abandoned in order to acquire "original" content that has fans outside of Netflix. But this story -- the departure of The Office -- is the big one.