662 reasons Netflix is in trouble

 

Dependable television comedies with large back catalogues have been a key driver of success for streaming services as viewers binge on "comfort viewing" staples.

Platforms have shelled out massive amounts for shows like The Office, Friends, and Seinfeld and reaped the rewards from repeat viewers.

But the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming service is set to feature one iconic show that could outdo them all.

Thirty full seasons of The Simpsons will join a massive content library that also features hits like the Star Wars franchise, Marvel movies and a huge back catalogue of Disney and Pixar animated titles.

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All up, Disney+ will stream 662 episodes of the long-running series (more than The Office, Friends and Seinfeld combined).

The show is airing its 31st season and has a 32nd in the pipeline, both of which are likely to make their way onto Disney+ in due time as well.

The Simpsons is set to be a key draw for Disney’s new streaming service.
The Simpsons is set to be a key draw for Disney’s new streaming service.

Disney gained the rights to The Simpsons through its $US71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox earlier this year, a move the often prophetic show of course already predicted in 1998.

Disney+ revealed more information about its US launch titles on Monday night in a massive Twitter thread.

Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12 and in Australia on November 19.

Given the size of Disney's massive content library, it's expected the majority of US launch titles will also be available from day one in Australia, but local licensing means a few titles may be absent initially, including some Marvel movies that currently stream on Nine-owned Stan.

The Simpsons has never been available for streaming so is unlikely to face any issues.

While largely thought to have lost its touch in recent years, The Simpsons is still considered one of the best television shows of all time and likely the most well-known.

Its addition to Disney+ could be a soothing balm to viewers of a certain age still reeling from its former local broadcaster Channel 10's decision to cease airing the show every weeknight at six when its commercial rivals ordinarily showed the news.

 

 

 

 

'COMFORT VIEWING' KEY TO STREAMING SUCCESS

Netflix doesn't reveal its viewer numbers, but a study from data measurement and analytics company Nielsen suggested earlier this year that eight of the 10 most-watched shows on the platform were "re-runs" of old shows - or "library content".

This included shows like The Office, Friends, and Parks and Recreation, all of which stream in Australia on Stan rather than Netflix.

Netflix is facing a massive challenge in the US, where more "traditional" media companies behind some of its most successful titles are looking to launch their own domestic streaming services and are buying back their content in order to do so.

The company is preparing to lose domestic rights to eyeball-grabbers like The Office and Friends through the creation of original programming and the acquisition of other properties it hopes can fill the gap.

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Netflix recently struck a deal with Sony to make every episode of Seinfeld available worldwide beginning in 2021 at a rumoured price tag of more than half a billion dollars.

Seinfeld has also been on Stan in Australia since 2016.

While some Netflix Originals have been streaming long enough to be in the "rewatchable" conversation, new content produced by the platform faces a challenge to attract audiences as an unknown quantity in a sea of other original and acquired content.

Producing more content also contributes to the "paradox of choice", where consumers are presented with so many options that they struggle to pick one.

It could be the same reason you never quite feel like watching any of the shows or movies in your ever-expanding watchlist whenever you open your favourite streaming service.

Are you excited for Disney+ to launch or will you stick with the subscriptions you already have? Have your say in the comments below.