The shift of digital media streaming from universal platforms accepting stuff from multiple sources, to numerous streaming services exclusive for each major content producer has been going on for the past few years now. As a result, binge-watchers of catch-all streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu tend to feel down as major studios like Disney, or Warner Bros., or Paramount, gradually take their media off those services to hoard them in their own digital playgrounds: Disney+, HBO Max and Paramount+ to name a few. The last one is making its own move soon, taking two Nickelodeon series currently on Netflix off that online library, permanently.
Indeed, sooner or later the teen sitcom “iCarly” (2007-12) and the phenomenal animated epic series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” will in the future depart from Netflix, as The Hollywood Reporter would have it. This news comes from Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Nickelodeon, the network where these programs originally aired before streaming became a common thing. Sooner or later they will be pulled from Netflix and moved to Paramount+, where content from Paramount Pictures, CBS and Viacom (the latter two after re-merging as ViacomCBS) will eventually make their streaming home, alongside expected original productions.
“It’s not like this is some secret we’re pulling the wool over anybody else’s eyes on other services,” says Robbins. “They’re happy to have the content and they understand the strategy. We’re very upfront about it.” As it turns out, having completed Nickelodeon programs be licensed to third-party platforms like Netflix was a marketing move by now-CEO of ViacomCBS, Bob Bakish. Once these programs found a wider audience on streaming than they did on one TV channel, they would be pulled back as exclusives once the company’s own in-house streaming service was up and running.
And it looks like Nickelodeon and its parent ViacomCBS will be keeping these franchises and their creative teams close to the vest moving forward. Already, “Last Airbender” creators Brian Konietzko and Michael DiMartino have been given a bigger role as head of Avatar Studios, to create more media to expand the world of “Avatar” for Nick and Paramount+. Speaking of which, that streaming service is also home to a revival of “iCarly,” which premiered last June 17. But for the moment, fans of both shows who have Netflix subscriptions better binge-watch them now while they are still available there, because eventually they will not be.
Image from Comic Book Resources