We’ve already notified you that the popular coming-of-age sitcom, New Girl will no longer be available on Netflix after this month. While the problem does not seem to be a major one at the surface, it might evolve to a threatening issue for the streaming platform, especially since New Girl is not the only comedy to have left Netflix in the recent past.
It is undeniable that Netflix has emerged as one of the largest streaming services globally, largely due to its extensive collection of original content, including acclaimed series such as Sex Education, Wednesday, and Stranger Things and prestigious movies such as The Irishman.
However, these aren’t exactly the shows that we come back for again and again. It’s the sitcoms or comedy shows that have had a major role in creating and retaining Netflix’s loyal customer base.
Netflix has been able to boast iconic sitcoms such as Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, New Girl, Parks and Recreation and Arrested Development in their collection. But as things stand, all of these shows are now unavailable on Netflix in the US.
On April 17th, New Girl will no longer be available on Netflix and will move to Hulu and Peacock. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case, as many other popular sitcoms have also departed from the platform, as mentioned above.
These shows are not only entertaining but also serve as a source of comfort for viewers. Netflix definitely has some incredible shows in their collection but lacks such comforting shows which would attract audience to their platform.
This could lead to a significant problem for the streaming platform, potentially resulting in a decline in its subscriber count. Comedy shows contribute to a platform’s subscriber count on a huge scale, and also increase the screen time because these are the shows we binge often.
One of the main reasons why Netflix is losing many of its beloved sitcoms is because of its own success. Netflix revolutionized the way viewers consume shows and movies, prompting other networks and studios to follow suit and create their own streaming services.
As a result, there are now numerous affordable streaming services available in the US and shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation have migrated to Peacock, which is owned by NBC.
Naturally, each show will end up being available exclusively on its respective network’s streaming service, leaving Netflix with only its original comedies to offer.
Netflix has also faced massive backlash in the recent past because of its non-inclusive, rigid password policy. As we’ve already reported earlier, Netflix has put forward a new password policy which will not allow people outside of the same household to share one account.
This means that students living away from home, broken families, separated families, people staying away for work or people who are traveling will not be able to share the same password as their families.
Several subscribers have raised an issue with the new policy. With popular comedies leaving the platform, it will furthermore give them a reason to drop Netflix and subscribe to other platforms.
Moreover, Netflix has always remained one of the most expensive streaming platforms. So, it is a win-win situation for anyone to go for other alternatives, especially if they do not have too many favorites among Netflix originals.
However, although these platforms individually cost less than Netflix, all of them taken together might strain your pocket a bit more than just a Netflix subscription would.
For instance, one has to now subscribe to Peacock, Hulu, HBO Max and Disney+ to watch all of their favorite comedy shows. It would have been way more convenient if they were available under one platform i.e. Netflix.
Another point to consider is that while several sitcoms have left Netflix US, they are still available in few other countries, such as India, UK, Australia and Canada. In fact, even Friends is available for streaming on Netflix in India, UK, Spain, Netherlands, Australia and few other countries.
While Netflix US brings a major chunk of the platform’s overall profits, we cannot disregard the profits that come from other countries. But it is possible that the sitcoms might not be available in other countries too after a certain point. Until then, it can be said that Netflix is still not at the edge.
However, this does not change the fact that Netflix does have a major comedy problem at hand. Popular sitcoms leaving the platform may lead to a major drop in the platform’s subscriber count and discourage new subscribers from buying Netflix plans. The platform should focus on their original content to tackle this issue.
Netflix has a strong focus on stand-up specials, but the platform is currently lacking in the sitcom category, with no long-running series in its collection. This is partly due to the platform’s tendency to cancel shows after only one or two seasons, as production costs increase significantly beyond that point.
In this regard, many of its rival platforms are quite ahead, boasting exclusive binge-worthy shows in its collection. HBO Max has an incredible collection with sitcoms such as Friends and The Big Bang Theory, Hulu has How I Met Your Mother, New Girl (soon enough) and How I Met Your Father, Peacock as The Office, Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine Nine and so on.
While Netflix’s approach of canceling shows after two seasons may save money in the short term, it has left Netflix without a flagship, long-running comedy series that could serve as a tentpole for the platform and help retain subscribers.
If Netflix wants to maintain its audience, it should aim to develop a sitcom similar to The Office or FRIENDS, which can continue for multiple seasons, especially as other existing sitcoms continue to leave the platform.