Earlier this month, in what seemed like a desperate move by Netflix to ruin my day, it was announced that "Friends" would no longer be streaming as of January 1st. If you're like me and you're in the middle of rewatching the series for the second or third time, this was devastating news.
All titles on Netflix have a contract that allows the service to stream the show for a certain amount of time. Netflix shelled out $118 Million for the rights to stream all 10 seasons of the title, and "Friends" began streaming on Netflix back in 2015. Their four-year contract was set to expire this January 1, with one of those dreaded "available until" text appearing under the details tab. After a social media frenzy, which included several negative responses and reactions to the pulling of the classic, Netflix announced that the title would remain on their streaming service throughout 2019.
Although the title is guaranteed throughout 2019, it is not guaranteed to be available for any further extended period of time. The removal of "Friends" from Netflix, can have a connection to the launching of the Warner Brothers streaming service. The service is set to launch in late 2019, and although the titles it will stream have not been released, it can be expected that a hit like "Friends" will definitely be present in their library.
This title is only the beginning of what could be the mass-removal of all Warner Brothers productions from streaming services, both Netflix and other. With Warner Brothers producing several popular Netflix titles, such as "The Carrie Diaries," "Supernatural," "Gilmore Girls," "The 100," and many others it is possible that we will witness the systematic cleaning out of the Netflix library, in order to support their new streaming service. Although this is not guaranteed, there's always a possibility, so you'd be totally justified binge-watching all your favorite Netflix titles this holiday season.