Young viewers say they’ll cancel Netflix if it loses The Office

In light of news that NBCUniversal is expected to remove The Office from Netflix next year, a new survey from Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter finds the impending departure of Netflix’s most popular show could have a negative impact on subscriber growth. The new data indicates that even seemingly unassailable global streaming platforms like Netflix are becoming increasingly reliant on their core or ‘marquee’ content – just a handful of titles – and that slippery fingers could easily lead to substantial hits in revenue, even though some analysts doubt that scenario would ever occur.

Highlights reveal that among Netflix subscribers aged between 18 and 29, nearly half (49%) of them would cancel if The Office, Friends, Marvel movies and Disney content were all removed from the service, compared to 32% of of all subscribers who also said the same.

Among all Netflix subscribers, here are the scenarios that would make them most likely to cancel their subscription service broken down in detail:

  • The Office, all Marvel superhero movies and all Disney content – 31%
  • Friends, all Marvel superhero movies, and all Disney content – 30%
  • The Office, Friends, and all Marvel superhero movies – 30%
  • The Office, Friends, and all Disney content – 28%
  • The Office and all Marvel superhero movies – 28%
  • All Disney content and all Marvel superhero movies – 28%
  • The Office and all Disney content – 25%

The poll was conducted from May 2-5, 2019 among a national sample of 2,201 U.S. adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results from the survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

You can read the full report here. Have any of our members dumped Netflix or other streaming platforms out of frustration at loss of content, or not enough of what you perceive as high-quality content? Please add your comments below.

 

Published by

Martin Dew

editor

29 Comments

  1. This is funny to me. I was just looking at my DVDs of the Office and wondering if I should sell them off because I’m not sure if I want to rewatch the series (I don’t have that same question about the UK series). Maybe if the series gets off Netflix there will be a market for the DVDs. 😜

    I guess I’m not a typical Netflix streamer, nor considered “young.”

  2. Scott Merryfield

    I bought the entire series on Vudu for $30 several months ago, so I really don't care what happens with it on the subscription services (and I don't subscribe to Netflix anyway)..

    I did the same as well I think it was back in January. I figured Seasons 1-4 are never going to get a Blu-ray release and it was a great price. Also got Parks & Recreation: Complete Series for the same price.

  3. I tried watching The Office [US] when it was originally released and found it dull at best. I doubt I made it trough the first few episodes back then before giving up. I few weeks ago, I decided to give it another spin on Netflix. I’m now in the second season and still not understanding how it could have lasted for nine. But when a show does last this long I take notice and this is the exact type of content I come to Netflix for. Something I can settle in with for awhile and watch the characters develop over several seasons.

    Again, I have yet to see this show as iconic in any way but I do look forward to being proven wrong. On Netflix, it’s easy to deal with such content as you don’t have to endure commercials, can watch whenever you want and can skip as appropriate.

  4. Mysto

    And if that doesn't work they'll hold their breath until they turn purple. Threats don't impress me – let's see what happens when it happens.

    I suspect it will end up like the 200M households that have cut the cord in the last 12 years

  5. Scott Merryfield

    I bought the entire series on Vudu for $30 several months ago, so I really don't care what happens with it on the subscription services (and I don't subscribe to Netflix anyway)..

    While you might be "safe" and unaffected, I suspect that most of the "young viewers" they reference probably aren't interested in purchasing the Office or any other TV show or movie, much less music. Not sure most of them will even subscribe to multiple streaming services at the same time either, though some certainly will. I wonder if losing one show or another will even have as much impact as that article suggests.

  6. David Deeb

    While you might be "safe" and unaffected, I suspect that most of the "young viewers" they reference probably aren't interested in purchasing the Office or any other TV show or movie, much less music. Not sure most of them will even subscribe to multiple streaming services at the same time either, though some certainly will. I wonder if losing one show or another will even have as much impact as that article suggests.

    It shouldn't, if I was a young person with limited disposable income, I would be revolving my streaming services/options to get the biggest bang for my bucks.

  7. Robert Crawford

    It shouldn't, if I was a young person with limited disposable income, I would be revolving my streaming services/options to get the biggest bang for my bucks.

    .

    I would too! Or just use the ones that dad pays for (referencing the 19 year old living under this roof).

  8. How many people are canceling HBO with Game of Thrones done? Why wouldn’t people cancel Netflix if the set of shows they care about were removed from the service?

    I’m surprised The Office is that big a deal. But I never got it, so what do I know? 🙂

  9. Worth

    How many times can you watch The Office?

    Well, if someone is a huge fan of the show, probably quite a bit. I love Star Trek and rewatch Trek episodes all the time. I probably go through the entire series of Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise once every other year. In fact, I just started S1 of DS9 last week because of the new documentary. I’ll probably binge it all over the next few months.

  10. DVBRD

    It's official: NBC has refused to renew Netflix' license for The Office and it will leave the service at the end of next year

    Just to make sure we’re being accurate, NBC is the one PAYING for the rights – it’s Universal Television who owns it.

    But, on the same token…

    “Per sources, NBC, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and likely Apple all at least took meetings to acquire the Steve Carell starrer. Producers Universal Television held an auction – which insiders say kept the studio at a distance from all buyers as it sought to get a fair price for profit participants… Ultimately, NBC's offer of $100 million per year – for five years – edged Netflix.”

    If it was an open auction with 5 participants, is saying they “refused to renew the Netflix’s license” really an accurate description of what happened?

  11. NBC and Universal are two sides of the same Comcast coin. It's taking $100 million out of one pocket, and then putting it in the other pocket.

    That being said, I'm skeptical that all of the people who say they're going to cancel Netflix are actually going to cancel Netflix.

    I do think NBC's ad-supported streaming platform is going to be a less attractive option for binging "The Office" than Netflix's current ad-free availability.

  12. Chris Will

    Well, if someone is a huge fan of the show, probably quite a bit. I love Star Trek and rewatch Trek episodes all the time. I probably go through the entire series of Voyager, DS9 and Enterprise once every other year. In fact, I just started S1 of DS9 last week because of the new documentary. I’ll probably binge it all over the next few months.

    The Star Trek series on multiple streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, CBS AA, etc.) is huge. I'm not sure when the license expires, and CBS AA makes the series exclusive on their platform….but if that happens I think I will be officially done with all the streaming services. I will return to disc for watching Star Trek, but I admit the convenience for watching these shows streaming is great.

  13. I can binge (admittedly with commercials) the entire run of The Office at least once a week on three different Dish channels.

    All that bothers me about this deal is we are getting yet another streaming service that we didn’t ask for.

  14. Adam Lenhardt

    NBC and Universal are two sides of the same Comcast coin. It's taking $100 million out of one pocket, and then putting it in the other pocket.

    That being said, I'm skeptical that all of the people who say they're going to cancel Netflix are actually going to cancel Netflix.

    I do think NBC's ad-supported streaming platform is going to be a less attractive option for binging "The Office" than Netflix's current ad-free availability.

    It all depends on how Comcast is run. Those two divisions might be wholly independent profit centers, and it really was a competition, that Netflix or Apple might have won, if they'd outbid NBCU. Or maybe Comcast was thinking strategically and aligning its different divisions for the long term.

    The reporting language suggest it's the former, not the latter, and it was a pure monetary bid that NBCU might have lost solely on price offered. But who knows?

  15. If the loss of one particular specific licensed program is enough to get people to drop Netflix, I'm not sure why they have Netflix to begin with.

    Amazon is selling the complete series of The Office on DVD for $54.99. Yes, it's not HD, and yes, you've got to put discs in your player. But you can buy it and own it forever. No one can legally take it from you.

    Last I checked, Netflix's standard plan is $9.99/month. That means that for the price of 6 months of Netflix, you can own The Office permanently. If The Office is all people want, eventually it would become more cost-effective to buy it.

    I don't watch The Office, but I'm a huge fan of the show Galavant, which is currently on Netflix but is produced by Disney. I suspect that it will probably go to Disney+ at some point, but there's been no confirmation of that. I do feel sure that it will be yanked from Netflix whenever their current license expires. So I spent $25 to buy the DVD of the complete series. I have that regardless of what happens with the streaming rights to the show.

    It just seems like anyone upset enough about losing The Office would do well to consider a purchase, if that's really the only content on Netflix that they deeply care about. Even if they cancel Netflix and subscribe to the Universal service instead, in less than a year they'd be paying more for the cost of the subscription to continually access it than they would for permanent access via ownership of the discs. I get that lots of people are moving away from physical media…but this just seems like a no-brainer to me.

  16. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the Venn diagram of life, there’s a high overlap between the people who say they’d cancel Netflix if the Office goes away, and the people who are password sharing rather than actually paying for Netflix.

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