The end of an era is approaching: The Office will leave Netflix on January 1st and exclusively move over to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service. Peacock confirmed the January 1st launch date today and explained how viewers can watch all 201 episodes of the show. The first two seasons will be available for free, but seasons 3 through 9 will require a paid subscription. Viewers can either pay $4.99 per month with ads or $9.99 monthly without ads.
Peacock’s building out an entire experience around the show, which will likely be an important one for the service and potentially encourage many more people to subscribe. Subscribers can view extra material, like behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, and interviews as well as curated collections.
The loss is a big one for Netflix, although the company knew the date was coming. The show’s widely considered one of its most popular with more than 52 billion minutes watched in 2018, some 3 percent of all Netflix minutes watched in the US, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As Netflix loses more of these comfort watches, like Friends last year, it’ll have to rely on its in-house content to maintain its subscriber base, while also charging more so it can keep making shows. It’s already cranking out content routinely, which gave it a major advantage in 2020 when most video shoots were sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, Netflix is entering the new year with the loss of one major show and a backlog of content to shoot and prepare for the service. It might have a rough year or two ahead, depending on when shooting resumes and how well its competitors are able to produce their content.
(Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, is also an investor in Vox Media, The Verge’s parent company.)