Perhaps Netflix forgot to press the “Red Alert” button at their last meeting, but Friends is about to leave their platform after giving viewers fair warning. Whether Netflix fully understands the gravity of this is another thing. While they’ve shown complete confidence in what their future is going to be with original content, there could be more pain coming than they estimated.
Considering a lot of old shows are being watched on Netflix many fans can’t live without, having them all go away could bring a small wave of account cancellations.
In the meantime, Friends is moving to a new streaming service owned by distributors of the show. Whether they can compete with the glut of other streaming services is the biggest media question for the 2020s.
Will you sign up with HBO MAX to watch ‘Friends’?
If it’s already overwhelming trying to keep up with the streaming services you prefer, it’s going to become even more complicated. Making things stranger is that WarnerMedia is going to name their upcoming streaming service HBO MAX, likely creating confusion on which HBO streaming service is which.
You’d think Warner would have made a more concerted effort to create a standout name setting them apart from everyone else. Despite owning Friends, who’re going to automatically associate the series with HBO?
Warner should seriously consider changing the name of their streaming service because they have an avalanche of competition coming. With HBO already having HBO Go and HBO Now, will audiences really spend money on the MAX version just to watch Friends?
For the most devoted fans, they’d probably answer yes. For everyone else, it likely means frustration keeping track of everything. It may lead to an eventual backlash within an overcrowded streaming marketplace.
HBO MAX may need to add some extras to ‘Friends’ to keep everyone watching
Thanks to Warner Bros. owning Friends, they can do whatever they please with the episodes. No doubt they won’t do much or anything since it’s been proven the revenue from merely providing the reruns continues to make the cast and producers millionaires.
As services like Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus heat up later this year, those trying to save money will start to become more selective in the streaming services they want. HBO MAX might not be top of the list by 2020 if relying on Friends and a few other attractive media properties as the most popular strong suits.
It’ll all depend on how much they charge for the service, but no doubt it’ll be the same as HBO GO/NOW. Some analysts predict it’ll be as much $16 per month.
Plus, it’s worth pointing out the service will have many other older and popular shows, perhaps making it another tough Netflix competitor. Then again, imagine the influx of Friends fans if they added bonus features like outtakes or behind-the-scenes features about the show.
Will ‘Friends’ become overlooked on streaming in favor of Disney Plus?
If you have to do any predicting, you can probably place a good bet on Disney Plus becoming the ultimate winner in the streaming battles a year from now. Considering their price will only be $6.99 per month and they’ll have some of the most beloved shows and movies of all time: there have to be a few beads of sweat from Netflix and HBO.
Or maybe it’ll whittle down to which service attracts the most families and adults. One could argue Disney Plus will attract everyone, yet HBO MAX will capture the aging adult market.
With older shows like Friends and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air there, expect them to exceed the 18-49 demographic while everyone else in the house watches Disney Plus in another room or other phone.