By: Nick Gambino
It seems every major studio and network is keen on launching their own streaming service so as to not be left out in the cold as the ways in which we consume content continue to shift. The newest company entering into the Streaming Wars is NBCUniversal. The company has just announced they will launch their yet-to-be-named streaming service in April 2020.
Other platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu have a years-long head start and even upcoming platforms like Disney+ have a lot more enticing content to lure viewers (Star Wars, Marvel, Disney classics, etc.) NBCUniversal, on the other hand, is relying on one show to carry the load – The Office.
The Office is wildly popular and is apparently even the most-watched show on Netflix, a main reason why they were willing to pay somewhere in the ballpark of $500 million to keep it. Alas, they were unable to sway the folks at NBCU who know that the success of their new service is reliant on something that can garner a large number of subscribers right out the gate.
In a call with investors, NBCU CEO Steve Burke mentioned that they intend to create original programming to compete with other platforms, but there’s no word on exactly what to expect from these shows/movies.
In addition to originals, it looks like they’ll focus on programs they’ve acquired from other studios. “We are spending money on originals,” Burke said in the call. “I would expect the vast majority of consumption, in the beginning, would be (of) acquired programs.”
The service is expected to be ad-supported not unlike Hulu but will hopefully include an ad-free plan. It’s not clear whether or not the company is aware of how important it is to offer an ad-free option. If they do launch without it, I predict this will seriously hinder their growth, even with Michael Scott and co.
Only time will tell who will be left standing after the dust settles, but as long as NBCU has the gauntlet that is everyone’s favorite workplace comedy, I think they have a fighting chance. Fortunately, even if you don’t plan on following The Office wherever it goes, the show will continue to stream on Netflix until January 2021.