Friends is the one that just won't go away. It's more popular now than it was when it was at its NBC peak, and somehow it just keeps getting better with age. Unless, of course, you're Netflix, in which case it's like the friend you hung out with for years until they got a new friend and now they won't return your call.
Friends was, after all, one of Netflix's most popular shows until it left the platform at the end of 2019. The streaming service even spent a reported $100 million in 2018 to have the exclusive right to stream it for one more year. WarnerMedia understandably recognized that there was far more value in bringing all 236 episodes to its new HBO MAX service set to launch in May of this year.
As a result, Friends has found a loyal audience with a generation that doesn't remember when the show aired as a part of NBC's formidable Thursday night lineup. Some of them don't even remember a time when you actually had to wait to watch shows at a specific time and could only see it on a television. And yet, millions of people have become loyal fans of a show that hasn't aired for 15 years.
Even though the show isn't currently streaming on any platform, sales of the DVD of the entire series have soared since the beginning of the year, which sure seems like a good sign that people will sign up for the $15 per month streaming service.
Still, at the top of the wish list for many of those fans has been seeing those six friends back together one more time. Now, WarnerMedia has said that we're finally going to get what we want. Today, the company announced that "the Friends cast will be reuniting exclusively for an untitled unscripted special," that will air on HBO MAX.
"Series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will return to the iconic comedy's original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a celebration of the beloved show," the company said in a statement.
Which, if you think about it, is brilliant. No one is going to subscribe to HBO MAX just because of the special, but WarnerMedia is definitely counting on Friends to drive people to the service. The reunion show is just a way to drive attention to the platform, and give the shows most loyal fans enough to motivate them to become customers.
This is brilliant. In an increasingly crowded streaming market, it takes a lot to stand out. The same is true for your company. And, while you may not have a show like Friends, you can still come up with a creative reason for loyal fans to become customers.