Star Trek: Deep Space Nine leaving Netflix concludes an era.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine will finish up on Netflix on July 1, marking the last Star Trek series to leave the former undisputed streaming giant once. Joining the streaming service in the early 2010s, alongside Voyager, The Next Generation, and Enterprise, the world of Star Trek saw a dedicated revival of sorts through the streaming giant.
The increased interest in Star Trek on Netflix helped convince the higher-ups that a series could do well in a modern market; enter Discovery. Without the centralized hub that was Netflix in the early 2010s, driving viewers to classic episodes of Trek, I dare say that everything that has come since wouldn’t have been possible.
Shows like Enterprise and Voyager found their long-expected audience and Deep Space Nine was finally able to be viewed in its entirety, instead of hoping and praying your local network was airing that week’s syndicated episode in the same spot you thought it was. A common problem back then.
These shows went from great to iconic because of the increased viewership, and if it wasn’t for Netflix, many classic fans may not have ever given shows like Voyager or Enterprise a real shot.
Paramount+ will make it harder for new fans to find Star Trek
If Paramount Global (CBS) had been smart, they would’ve kept their deal with Netflix going. Operating a streaming service is not profitable at all. Disney+ may be turning a profit but they also may be the only ones anymore. There was a time when Hulu and Netflix were the kings, but now both are losing viewership, with Netflix in significant dept.
Part of the issue is that everyone wants their own streaming platform, and that means that everyone is dividing up tiered properties. There are only so many properties that will make fans want to dive into a streaming service. When Netflix was the focal point of all streaming, that was an easier pitch to sell.
You had everyone on your service to some degree, and that made it easier to get fans to check out lesser-viewed properties. Now with all of these other networks trying to dig up any relic from a bygone era to put on their streaming service with a shiny new paint job, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify price points, expenses, and budgets for properties.
Peacock lost a near billion dollars from 2020 to 2021. The WWE Network was hemorrhaging money so much that they just sold the distribution to them, which probably didn’t help things. Paramount already had to re-brand their failing streaming service once; and while the iCarly revival had an audience, not many other properties on Paramount+ are really finding much success.
The more these streaming services cannibalize whatever they can get, the more money gets wasted, and that means the more these company-owned streaming services will end up having to merge or sell off to more successful properties.
It also means that it’ll be hard to get fans into a property.
In 2016, if you finished Stranger Things season one, and you had nothing else to watch, you could get recommended Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Battlestar Galactica. Boom, a new fan is made. Netflix used to be the service that promised you something familiar and something new. You went there to become a fan.
Now, you have to be an already established fan to want to sign up for a service like Paramount+. After all, why bother paying $10+ for ad-free entertainment just to watch one series? With everyone demanding $10+ for their services, people are becoming picky. It’s cheaper just to get cable these days with the price points of HBO Max, Peacock, Netflix, Disney+, ESPN+, Showtime, and others all going up all the time.
Star Trek had a revival because the industry saw the value in Netflix. Now with everyone being more selfish than ever before, the industry could be facing a collapse of sorts with the soring dept of these streaming services.
If these streaming services do start falling by the wayside, which should be expected, then what happens the next time Star Trek needs a crop of new fans to check them out? Can there even be another revival of the brand after this current era? Will there be a play for it?
Netflix truly did give Star Trek fans one of the best eras they ever had. They made the show accessible to millions of old fans while helping create millions more.