HBO Max taps Friends to take on Apple TV+

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HBO Max
Anyone who enjoys binging Friends episodes better learn this name.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The already crowded market for streaming video services is getting a little more so. WarnerMedia just unveiled HBO Max, which will include original programs as well as shows created for The WB like Batwoman. Most notably, this will be the only place to watch Friends re-runs.

It will face competition from Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix and many more.

Fun for the whole family

WarnerMedia promises the service will debut with 10,000 hours of premium content. “HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer.

Yes, a show that’s been off the air for over a decade is a hot property. Last year, Netflix paid around $100 million to keep streaming Friends only through the end of 2019. After that, it’s moving to HBO Max. Exclusively. (No one told you life was gonna be this way.)

Also expect shows from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more.

WarnerMedia will start beta testing this service before the end of this year, and the official launch is expected in 2020. The monthly cost for HBO Max has not yet been announced.

So many streaming video options

Apple TV+ will debut before then. The iPhone maker’s foray into streaming video is scheduled to hit screens in the US this fall. It will offer dozens of original programs, but Eddy Cue, Apple’s point man on music, video and other service offerings, said in a recent interview that his company intends to create the best shows, not the most.

Disney+ will also be available this fall within a stable movies and shows from the world’s most popular franchises, from Star Wars to Marvel.

And, of courses, there’s Netflix, Hulu, and plenty of other streaming services already on the market. That includes HBO Go and HBO Now.

Source: WarnerMedia