Media reported that from January 1, 2020, “Friends” will no longer be available on Netflix, and will not be available on any major streaming services for the next five months. From leaving Netflix in January to its premiere on HBO Max in May, there’s only one way for viewers to watch the show in the middle of the day: buy every episode, season or full series through a digital retailer.
Amazon, iTunes and even YouTube offer rentals or purchases throughout the 10 seasons. Prices vary by platform, with the current iTunes range price dlonging of $140, third-party sellers on Amazon $70 (physical collections) and YouTube for $200 (or $19.99 per season). Apparently, these prices are much more expensive than Netflix’s $12.99 monthly package. Amazon and iTunes often offer a whole range of big discounts, but the problem is not knowing when.
If you think it’s very complicated to watch the second most watched episodes on this streaming platform, then the feeling is right, because it’s really complicated. There are only a few streaming services on the network by 2020, and most of the most streamed shows are on Netflix, such as Friends, The Office, The Intern Grey, Valley Town, Criminal Psychology and a variety of Disney movies, all users have to pay for.
But things are changing dramatically, with a number of big companies, including Comcast, AT?amp;T and Disney, launching their own streaming platforms to play their own content. Among them, “Friends” will return to Warner Media, “Star Wars” series return to Disney.
It looks like Old Friends is just the beginning. By 2021, Netflix subscribers who want to watch “The Office”, the most popular episode on the streaming platform, will have to sign up for Comcast’s Peacock service. Hulu users who want to watch “Song Fei”must go to Netflix.
Subscription streaming — and Netflix in particular — should have been able to solve the mess caused by cable. It did it in 2011 and so far in this short period of time. But now, the idea has become a luxury when big companies like AT?amp;T and Netflix are fighting over who can see “Friends.”