While Netflix users are already mourning the fact that the ‘90s hit sitcom “Friends” and “The Office” will be leaving the platform in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the streaming giant has given them yet another tragedy to be sad about- by pulling out fan favourite, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Since its release in 2000, Dr Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” has become a celebrated classic and has been everyones beloved go-to film during the Christmas holidays. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as the furry green meanie himself, the live-action film was pulled down by Netflix on December 1, 2019, just three weeks before Christmas.  

Dismayed by the prospect of not being able to watch the seasonal film during the holidays, fans began to air their displeasure via social media.

Reacting to the flood of negative comments on the sudden move, Netflix's Help Center came forward to explain why the film was removed. 

“Netflix licenses TV shows and movies from studios and content providers around the world, and those licenses can expire if we don't renew them. Though we strive to keep the content you want to see, we acquire licensing rights for TV shows and movies for a certain period of time - not indefinitely - so some titles do leave Netflix,” they said

“If a TV show or movie you love is leaving, it indicates that our licensing agreement with the content provider is about to end. Whenever a TV show or movie is expiring, we evaluate whether or not to renew it using the same criteria we apply to potential new content,” they added.

But this is neither the first nor the last time this is happening with Netflix

Years ago, when Netflix entered the scene of streaming shows and movies, it was the only credible platform to do so. Netflix stole tens of millions of customers from cable companies via a business it had built on dishing out the content of other companies and the plan worked for a while, after all, it now has 149 million subscribers.

But not anymore. Netflix’s competitors are realizing the profit they stand to make if they air their content on their own streaming platforms. Hence, they are ending their contracts with Netflix and taking back control of their content.

And this progress does not bode well for Netflix as more than half of its library of popular content is made up of companies planning to launch their own streaming services like Disney+, AT&T’s upcoming streaming service, NBC Universal’s soon-to-be-launched digital platform which will include “The Office”.