It’s 2021 and decades-old sitcoms are worth multi-million dollar deals. Now-classic sitcoms like Friends, Seinfeld, and The Office are worth 2-3 times the budgets of modern blockbusters. Old programming is driving new streaming subscribers in droves, with established audiences of legacy content being strategically shepherded from platform to platform. While an emphasis on original programming is still each streaming provider’s priority, there’s no denying the high value of in-built audiences of yesterday’s shows, as these viewers consistently prove their influential presence across digital. Is comfort content as powerful as original programming in driving engagement?

The ongoing streaming wars are showing no signs of slowing down. It was expected that the pandemic-fueled streaming boon would dissipate in 2021, but Netflix still failed to meet its Q1 subscriber forecast, attributing much blame on the pandemic. But while Netflix might be losing some steam, we’re not seeing these results across the board, as both Disney+ and HBO Max reported substantial increases within the same time period. In fact, The Office’s transition from Netflix to Peacock was directly attributed to its Q4 increase in subscribers. With subscription bundles and even “superfan” content marketed towards Office fans, we’re seeing just how much influence these massive audiences can have on reshaping content and promotions to cultivate a more competitive environment.

Netflix’s strategy over the past decade has been to focus more on its original programming as it slowly sheds its licensed IPs, and while that strategy has helped solidify its dominant presence in the industry, it also opened itself up to increased competition from fledgling streamers picking up the pieces. In an effort to regain some traction from legacy content comfort viewers, the streaming giant is preparing to air Seinfeld episodes this year after paying a considerably hefty price tag back in 2019. Why pay so much for old programming? The high price of popular old shows proves the value of comfort viewers—audiences that compulsively and habitually revisit their favorite episodes, characters and situations. These subscribers provide consistent engagement and viewing hours, providing a backbone to streaming platform performance.

Streamers are prepared to pay significant prices for these assured audiences, but marketers of any industry can access fans of The Office or Seinfeld for a fraction of the cost. Reaching devoted fans of legacy content, whether watching within a walled environment or surfing elsewhere online, allows access to robust, actively-engaged audiences. We provide programmatic audiences that can reach viewers of any show, wherever they roam across digital, giving necessary navigation through an increasingly fragmented media world. Get in touch with us today and see how we can help you spread your message to the fans of any series, brand, celebrity, and more: hello@affinityanswers.com.