Why Do Things Keep Disappearing From Netflix?

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

It’s a situation we have all been in. You invite a friend over to watch a movie you’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix. Perhaps you’ve seen it and loved it already and can’t wait to share it with them. The trouble is, when your friend arrives and you sit down to enjoy the feature, you notice it’s not there. You could have sworn you saw it pop up on your Netflix watch list just yesterday, only now it is nowhere to be seen.

This seems to be happening more and more often and not just with films but with entire binge-worthy shows. Every couple of months there seems to be a moral panic because Friends is reportedly being taken down off Netflix for good. We know that everybody loves watching the show, so why does Netflix keep taking popular features down? And why do some of them randomly reappear shortly after?

According to the Netflix website, content gets taken down when the licenses they obtain from studios expire. These licenses are acquired for a limited period of time and if they choose not to renew the license, the content gets taken down. Nowadays, Netflix is focused on creating its own original content and as a result, licenses of lesser-watched shows often fail to get renewed. The upshot of this is more quality Netflix originals like The Irishman and our current favorite, Bojack Horseman.

The other good news is that if a show you have been binge-watching gets taken down, there is actually an option for you to request it back. Netflix cares what its audiences watch and if enough people request a show to be licensed, they typically will do their best to get the content back up and running. 

Unfortunately, not enough people actually know about this well-kept secret for it to always make an impact. If you want to make a request, you can use the link here. And if you want Buffy The Vampire Slayer back in Netflix U.S. and UK, we will definitely back you on that one.