‘Friends’ Fans Prove They’re Still Obsessed As DVD and Digital Sales Skyrocket Post-Netflix Streaming
Friends fans aren’t the fickle sort. Even more than 15 years since we said goodbye to Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe, these diehards can’t get enough of the iconic sitcom that dominated the 90s and early 2000s. Now they’re proving the enduring power of Friends by spending money to watch it — which is becoming a rarity these days.
The entire 10 seasons of Friends were available for streaming on Netflix for a whopping five years, but unfortunately for fans, the series was no longer available as of Jan 1. 2020. But did that stop them from reconnecting with all their favorite episodes? Of course not.
‘Friends’ will find a new home on HBO Max this spring
There were rumors that Friends was the most binge-watched show on Netflix. So why exactly did it get pulled?
The show is being reintroduced to streaming later this year on HBO Max, a new streaming service that will launch in May 2020. The new platform is hoping to compete against bigshots in the space including Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV. Adding Friends to their lineup is a key part of their strategy to draw in viewers.
Sales of ‘Friends’ on DVD and digital download are stronger than ever right now
Until the launch of HBO Max in a few months, Friends fans can’t get their fix without buying DVDs or paying to download individual episodes or complete seasons via online marketplaces such as Amazon Video, Apple TV, Google Play, and Vudu. Faced with the prospect of paying for content, you’d think fans would be content to just wait until they can stream Friends again.
But instead, senior VP of TV marketing for Warner Brothers Entertainment Rosemary Markson told Variety that sales of physical and digital copies of the show Friends have “roughly tripled” since Netflix announced they wouldn’t be streaming the show anymore.
“At the beginning of the year, it was the top-selling catalog-TV franchise in home entertainment,” she said. “We were seeing strong sales across both physical and digital, and we’ve seen a particularly strong uptick in digital.”
There might be even more incentive for ‘Friends’ fans to subscribe to HBO Max
Streaming episodes of the iconic show isn’t the only reason for Friends fans to jump on the HBO Max bandwagon. There are also rumors of a Friends reunion special in the works that would exclusively debut on the new streaming platform.
All six former castmates including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer along with show co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane would participate in the unscripted show. It’s not a definite yet, but most of the actors expressed their interest in participating as long as it was a reunion style show rather than a reboot.
No matter what, Friends fans are guaranteed to show up for it. Over the years they’ve proven themselves some of the most loyal, dedicated fans in existence. If they’re willing to shell out big bucks for watching the show, then they’ll likely not think twice about the $14.99/month HBO Max subscription fee if it means they get to hang out with their beloved Friends again.