Netflix announced in June that they were not able to retain the rights to “The Office,” and Netflix users will lose access to the show in 2021. Fans everywhere were upset and some said they plan on cancelling their Netflix subscriptions following the loss of their favorite show. But will they then subscribe to the new NBC streaming service that will take “The Office” from Netflix? Disney has also announced that it will have its own streaming platform, and Disney titles will be leaving Netflix. Will Avengers fans follow the Avengers movies to the Disney streaming service that Disney announced in August of 2017?
The answer isn’t so clear as more and more companies are announcing their entrance into the streaming market. Soon Netflix, HBO, and Apple won’t have reign over the streaming market, and users will have access to more streaming options than ever, but while these companies think that more competition in the streaming market is better for the consumer, it will be worse for the corporations.
Millennials and all the generations to follow are a tech savvy group of people, capable of finding entertainment content on the web for free if they don’t find their options to be streamlined and convenient. These companies will be driving young people away from streaming and towards piracy by limiting access to TV shows.
As many as 70% of millennials have pirated content before, and being forced to subscribe to five, six, or seven new streaming services will only cause that number to climb. Anti-piracy advertising did not stick for the new generations. As such, these companies shouldn’t make their content harder to access through more paywalls.
Netflix’s huge customer base grew out of its huge library, not because of specific shows. When Netflix was built around having movies shipped to your door from week to week, people didn’t subscribe because they wanted to watch the same fantastic movie over and over. They subscribed because they heard that Netflix gave them access to a huge library of fantastic movies.
When Netflix migrated to the streaming market, they retained this audience, and continued to grow it exponentially because of the convenience of streaming and the huge library. “The Office” was able to create a dedicated fanbase not because it was a fantastic show alone, but because it was accessible to the many hundreds of thousands of people who were already subscribed to Netflix.
Netflix has created a huge market, and now other companies want in, but what they don’t realize is that they are shooting themselves in the foot by limiting accessibility to content. Their might be some users who follow “The Office” and other shows to their respective new homes, but many will simply turn to piracy. Piracy is easier now than ever, and putting singular shows behind paywalls won’t create new capital for the companies that claim the shows, it’ll destroy the thing that made the streaming market so popular: accessibility.