Friends to join Warner Media streaming platform, could leave Netflix

We would say nobody informed you life was going to be this manner, however they kind of did

Roughly two months after experiences suggesting that the beloved sitcom Friends would be leaving Netflix on the first day of 2019 started circulating the net, speak that Netflix chief content material officer Ted Sarandos quickly shot down as hearsay on the time, the narrative has taken a shift. 

TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly revealed throughout the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Warner Bros.’ most profitable tv sequence and movies — and this, in fact, consists of Friends – will in the end join Warner Media’s streaming platform, and that there is a very actual risk the sequence will depart from Netflix for good someday sooner or later. 

“I think you can expect [that] the crown jewels of Warner will ultimately end up on our new service. Pulling it away [from Netflix]? It’s certainly something we’re willing to do,” mentioned Reilly (by way of Deadline). 

The purpose why Friends (a Warner Bros. Television manufacturing) would find yourself on Warner Media’s soon-to-launch direct-to-consumer streaming service (that materialized after AT&T acquired property from HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros. in 2018) is straightforward: it is not precisely the wisest choice to preserve considered one of Warner Bros. TV’s largest sequence in historical past on a platform that is not the firm’s personal, whereas additionally together with it in Warner Media’s content material catalogue on the similar time. 

As Reilly defined, “I think for the most part, sharing destination assets like that is not a good model to share — my belief is that they should be exclusive.”

While Reilly did not explicitly point out Friends in his feedback, it is clear that his point out of “the crown jewels of Warner” embrace the David Crane and Marta Kauffman-created present. Discussions of whether or not or not Friends would bounce ship and swim away from Netflix have been ongoing for months now, actually heating up originally of December 2018 and gaining extra traction when AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson remarked at the united statesmedia convention that Netflix’s $100 million deal for the streaming rights to Friends for 2019 did not put any constraints on what Warner Media could do with the sequence. This implies that Friends, which is able to keep on Netflix at the least till the tip of this year, can stream on Warner Media on the similar time it does on Netflix, as Stephenson detailed. 

Reilly does not really feel that’s a sensible thought — and we see the place he’s coming from. To have the identical present obtainable to watch on two separate platforms, considered one of which is arguably the king of streamers, creates rigidity and competitors the place there should not be. There’s already sufficient competitiveness between websites like Netflix and Hulu, Hulu and Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime and HBO Now, and a complete host of others (together with rising platforms DC Universe and Disney+). Really, there is not room for any extra inter-streamer fights.

It sounds just like the minds behind Warner Media’s streaming platform have their hearts set on not sharing big-ticket titles from Warner Bros. HBO, and Turner with different websites. Taking sequence like Friends away from Netflix creates a sense of exclusivity across the upcoming Warner Media streamer, which is able to thus drive potential subscribers to the location so as to binge-watch the sequence time and again. This will possible be irritating for individuals who favor Netflix over different steamers or those that are subscribed solely to that one streaming website, however truthfully, how many people on the market have ponied up a month-to-month fee to a streamer for the only objective of catching up on one single present? (We’ve accomplished it with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Killing Eve on Hulu, Sharp Objects on HBO Now, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime.) Friends could very nicely change into the face of Warner Media’s streaming platform, drawing in viewers in droves. 

Warner Media is clearly prepared to declare possession over the sequence that’s rightfully its property, nevertheless it stays to be seen whether or not Netflix will struggle back. All is honest in love, struggle, and smelly cats


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