Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says classic shows such as “Friends” and “The Office” continue to be popular after so many years solely because of the streaming giant.
During an onstage conversation at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit here, Sarandos waved away concerns over the streaming service’s upcoming loss of “Friends” and “The Office”, reports variety.com.
“One of the reasons ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ are so popular is because they’re on Netflix. You imagine what happens when your kid comes to school: ‘I just saw this new show called ‘Friends’,” he said.
Recalling Marshall McLuhan’s thesis that “the medium is the message”, Sarandos said: “Part of the enduring success of the shows is they’ve been available on Netflix in a way that people can watch them and ingrain them in their lives. Part of it also is: they sit down they push play and there it is. ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ found them, too, on Netflix. Remember, ‘Friends’ and ‘The Office’ have been widely syndicated for years, still are … A lot of that phenomenon has been because of Netflix.”
Come 2020 and “Friends” will move to HBO Max with the launch of WarnerMedia’s streaming service, and NBC Universal will have exclusive domain over “The Office” when Peacock comes in 2021.
Netflix has “Friends” until the end of the year, and “The Office” until the end of 2020.
Asked about potentially being at a disadvantage without “Friends” or “The Office”, Sarandos said that while he would have loved to have kept the shows on Netflix, the platform is “also about change and keeping things fresh”.
“We have ‘Seinfeld’. We’re super excited about having ‘Seinfeld’,” he added.