Netflix's New Fight? Old Shows
Streaming's Library Wars heat up as huge series count down to a platform exit
Last June, I wrote that Criminal Minds departing Netflix for Paramount+ and Hulu would be a big deal in the Streaming Wars. In October, I wrote that it was also a big deal that Hulu was losing NBC’s content. (It was.) Of course, losing licensed series isn’t Netflix’s problem alone. HBO Max, for example, depends pretty heavily on South Park, and currently Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global are suing each other over that show. Hulu still relies heavily on Fox day-after-air broadcast shows, too.
But Netflix is still the 800-pound gorilla, so given that I’ve been writing a lot about un-orders, removals and content moves, it inspired a question…
What’s the next big show to leave Netflix? And what does it say about the ongoing value of library content to the world’s biggest streamer?
There’s no better person to answer the first part than Kasey Moore, owner and editor of Whats-On-Netflix, the best data source about Netflix’s content library. Moore analyzes Netflix contracts, removal patterns, sources and available metadata to predict when new shows will arrive on Netflix and when old ones will leave.
Recently, he pointed me to a fairly big TV show that could be leaving Netflix: Arrested Development, which Moore said was slated to leave Netflix on March 15. Remember, Netflix bought a new season of the critically-acclaimed, ratings-challenged Fox sitcom in 2013 and branded it as an Original. The series had originally been developed by 20th Century Fox, which means that Disney now controls the rights. In fact, Disney+ UK even had announced that the show was coming. (As did other outlets.)
But here’s the thing: if you go to Netflix today, Arrested Development is still on. In fact, its scheduled departure has been pushed back to March 25th.
Potentially — probably likely — Netflix and Disney are actively negotiating how much Netflix will have to pay to keep Arrested Development on its platform. Nothing speaks more to the difference a year makes than the fact that Disney went from handsomely paying Netflix reclaim its Marvel series for Disney+ in 2022, to now negotiating to let Netflix handsomely pay them for a buzzy sitcom.
One theme of last year’s Streaming Wars: expunging content to save money. We’re now seeing the flip side of that coin — studios selling shows to generate extra cash. So today, leveraging Moore’s help, I’m diving into Netflix’s library to see what’s at risk.
In this article, I will look at…
The next top 15 shows that could leave Netflix this quarter.
Explain how we know Netflix likely has a 10-year license fee on its licensed shows.
The percentage of library viewing by audience compared with originals.
And reveal the earliest that some big Netflix Originals, like Orange is the New Black, Gilmore Girls and others, could leave Netflix.