With all the rumors flying around left and right about Star Trek content being removed from streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, it looks like we’re all spared, at least for now.
Most of the Star Trek content available on the major streaming services flashed a bit of a warning these past few weeks that the show’s catalog was set to expire, removing it from the streaming libraries of Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The internet panicked, a perfectly normal reaction to the potential removal of such a major part of these services’ offerings, and everyone started to freak out about CBS pulling the plug on third party distribution. They do have a proprietary streaming service, and the new Star Trek series is going to premiere there first. It wouldn’t seem completely unreasonable that they’d make a power play with the originals.
But we’ve confirmed, at least in the short term, that Star Trek will remain on both of these services. They’ve removed the countdown as of today:
So what gives? Why did the expiration dates appear in the first place? This happens A LOT where one service will show an expiration date on a show a few weeks before it’s set to be removed. This way, anyone planning on watching it has ample time to do so. But we’re guessing a lot of these announcements are done algorithmically, meaning as a streaming service like Netflix sees that a contract is set to expire, the show’s interface starts showing the removal date automatically.
This expiration date might not always be accurate though, as sometimes contract negotiations come down to the wire and the streaming services are close to working out a deal with content owners, but the show’s page on the service fails to reflect this. It happened recently with ‘The West Wing’ which is still streaming in its entirety on Netflix. Let’s hope something similar doesn’t happen with Star Trek Discovery worldwide.
But one thing to point out… It doesn’t seem unlikely that at some point in the near future, if CBS is serious about their standalone app, that they would pull distribution rights from third parties like Netflix and Amazon and hoard it all for themselves. If the potential revenue from the new subscribership outweighs that of selling the content to third parties… well then there’s your answer, as much as it might suck having to sign up for another service.
So the good news is, at least for now, you’re safe to keep streaming Star Trek. But be wary, deep space explorers, the future might be a little grim.