‘Friends’ is staying on Netflix through 2019… but at a big cost.

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That is a substantial leap from the $30 million annually that Netflix’d paid previously to stream the show.

The new level reflects the thirst for articles in the streaming age.

Online viewing is the future of entertainment, and also the industry’s most important players- including Warner Media’s parent, AT&T; the Walt Disney Company; Comcast’s NBC Universal; Viacom; CBS; and Discovery – are retooling their own streaming operations to take on services such as Netflix and Amazon.

For Netflix, paying big money for hit content is essential to expanding its customer foundation, currently 57 million from the USA and 130 million globally.

Questions regarding the show’s future on the ceremony started over the weekend when customers seen a note on Netflix’s “Friends” page which read,” Availability Until 1/1/19.” Some of the show’s fans turned apoplectic.

“The sole reason I have an account with Netflix would be to re-watch Friends,” Hayley Kiyoko posted on Twitter.

The Netflix account reacted:”I would not hurt you, Hayley.”

Afterwards, the company formally announced the show would stay on the service.

“The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: ‘Friends’ will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019,” Netflix posted in a tweet, which included an image of the personality Ross within an armadillo lawsuit from a scene in which he tries to explain the story of Hanukkah to his son.

The deal to maintain”Friends” on Netflix was due to expire by the end of the calendar year, but both Netflix and AT&T was negotiating to get at least a couple of months to extend it, the people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Complicating the negotiation was AT&T’s plan to commence a streaming service of its own by the end of 2019.

“And clearly it’s important to Netflix too”

The sides are currently negotiating rates for later 2019 that could be significantly lower than $100 million, because the series would no longer stream exclusively on Netflix, the people with knowledge of the matter said.

Additionally, it is possible that “Friends” could depart Netflix following next year, they included.

To entice new streaming clients, AT&T will probably have to maintain some of its shows and movies off other services like Netflix and have them available only on AT&T’s offering.

Disney, which intends to launch its own streaming service at the end of next year, will begin pulling some of its movies from
Netflix after annually.

In AT&T’s analyst conference last month, John Stankey, the executive placed in charge of Warner Media, said streaming players like Netflix were”Going to see a pretty substantial structural change” in the access to content during the next 18 to 24 months.

Firms like Netflix”Must anticipate their libraries are going to get a lot thinner,” he explained.

To be able to distinguish one offering from the other, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have emphasized the significance of exclusive content.

Netflix, for example, has spent billions building up first shows, including hits like”Stranger Things.”

“That is going to make it exciting for us,” the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, said on the company’s earnings call in October of their forthcoming competition.

The market will support a couple of on-demand streaming services, including Netflix, Mr. Stephenson said on Tuesday, “And we would like to be among the two or three.”

The entrance of AT&T and Disney into streaming could lead to a situation where studios hold off licensing their displays and films, or at least drastically cut back on such deals, to assist stoke subscriptions to their streaming solutions.

It’s since been syndicated widely, but the show has found an especially receptive audience on Netflix, in which it became accessible 2015.

Its popularity among the streaming collection even prompted a 2016 New York magazine article, “Is ‘Friends’ Still the Most Popular Display on TV? “.  Whether it is or not, Netflix has determined it is worth $100 million.

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