In a move that should surprise no one, it’s become official: All 236 episodes of Friends is moving from Netflix to WarnerMedia’s long-touted Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Service, which the company has named HBO Max.
HBO Max is also going to be the new streaming home for all fare from The CW (which is currently exclusive to Netflix, but that deal was not renewed) as well as original motion pictures from creative and acting talent such as Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon. The official launch of HBO Max will occur in Spring 2020 and will make its debut with 10,000 hours of premium content, unavailable elsewhere.
HBO Max will include content 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 other content providers.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. 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. “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
Some of the other TV shows that will be available at launch will include classics like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Modern Hit HBO Show Pretty Little Liars, as well as the upcoming Batwoman, based on the DC Comics character. HBO Max will also include original content created exclusively for the new service, in addition to shows that will first be launched on HBO.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but it has been previously pegged at just over $15, but time will tell what that final monthly price will be.
Warner’s HBO Max is just one of the many new direct-too-consumer streamers that are set to start up in the near future. Disney+, Disney’s $6.99/month streaming service is set to launch this November and will feature Pixar’s movies, Marvel Studios movies, 30 complete seasons of the Simpsons, Disney animated films and the Star Wars library of films.