Why Your Favorite Shows Might Be About to Kill Netflix

Right now, we live in a time when Netflix is home to the most popular shows. In fact, with how far the company has come, it’s crazy to think back to when Netflix was just focused on DVD rentals by mail. Of course, the streaming service has since become the world’s foremost source of binge-able shows. But its reign looks like it’s nearing an end soon.

A Netflix app displayed on a smartphone
A Netflix app displayed on a smartphone | Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney+, HBO Max, and more complicate the streaming wars

For a while, Netflix’s only real competition was Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. That’s not the case anymore. In fact, it feels like everyone is launching a streaming service of their own. CBS All Access is making headlines with its original Star Trek content. Apple TV+ launched in November 2019 with buzz-heavy series like Dickinson. And both NBC’s Peacock and HBO Max will be available in the first half of 2020.

Then, of course, there’s Disney+. With a library of films, shows, and original content, Disney+ may be one of the biggest factors in Netflix’s downfall. Of course, much of the marketing for all of the above streaming services has hinged on new content. But the key to Netflix’s fate might actually lie in some old favorites.

Why ‘Friends,’ ‘The Office’ and other TV hits are to blame

A new study by the Wall Street Journal has uncovered some surprising stats about how the streaming wars will shake out. In particular, the results don’t bode well for the future of Netflix amid the coming onslaught of streaming services.

According to the study, 30 percent of roughly 2,000 respondents said they will likely cancel their Netflix accounts in favor of trying out a new streaming service. If that finding holds true, the results would be devastating to Netflix’s business model. But the real kicker is the reason these current Netflix customers would be looking to jump ship.

Thirty-five percent of the study’s responses said they’d leave Netflix because a TV series they liked is no longer part of its library. While no specific shows were named, fan-favorite hits like Friends and The Office upset fans by leaving Netflix for HBO Max and Peacock, respectively. Of course, lots of Disney-owned content — including Star Wars and Marvel — is also abandoning Netflix for Disney+.

Will Netflix survive the competition?

With so many competitors rising to the surface, Netflix will have to do something drastic in the months ahead. Nearly half the survey respondents claimed they were planning to sign up for Disney+. Not far behind, 41 percent said they would be subscribing to either HBO Max or Apple TV+. Meanwhile, Peacock apparently poses the smallest threat, with 38 percent looking to sign up.

Netflix might be focusing on creating more original content, including Oscar-friendly movies. But it seems consumers really just want shows and movies they’re already familiar with. As the industry catches up, Netflix will probably raise prices in order to stay afloat. Yet, the streaming service will need a better solution than speed-bingeing if it hopes to retain customers for the long term.