Apple tried to win the rights to stream 'Friends'

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Though it ultimately lost out to Netflix, which is paying roughly $100 million, Apple was one of the bidders for rights to stream the '90s sitcom "Friends" in 2019, a report revealed on Thursday.

Friends


Other bidders besides Apple included Hulu and AT&T's WarnerMedia, the latter of which actually owns the show, Recode said. WarnerMedia is working on launching its own streaming service in 2019 and would naturally want to air "Friends," but may have been willing to sell rights to the highest bidder because there's no guarantee its service will succeed. In 2020 WarnerMedia will allegedly have the option to pull the show from Netflix or let it remain available if the latter agrees to renew rights at a 25 percent discount.

Hulu's interest was responsible for driving up the cost of the 2019 rights, according to Recode. Netflix has so far been paying about $30 million per year, so Apple's move may have been tactical to increase the price that competitors would have to pay for the service.

Today's report is the first sign that Apple's forthcoming streaming service may entail not just original content but existing properties -- and it may launch in 2019. That could attract skeptical viewers, since they would know there are at least a few shows or movies they want to see.

Although the bidding is a tacit acknowledgment that the service will launch in 2019, entertainment company executives were expecting it to start in 2019 anyway. Apple's specific plans for any video streaming service remains a mystery -- it could be included in a paid bundle with Apple Music and premium Apple News content, and/or accessible for free through the TV app for iOS and tvOS.

The company has also supposedly been mulling the idea of an Apple TV streaming stick, which might boost the service's adoption by lowering the cost of Apple TV hardware below the current $149. An Apple TV 4K is at least $179.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    FolioFolio Posts: 396member
    I consider Amazon Prime not as free two day shipping —as Walmart et al made that standard— but as a media service, which costs about $12/month roughly as much as Netflix. A few series I’ve seen like Zelda and Tokyo Girls are high quality. The latter is produced in Japan in that language available w English subtitles. Nice shots of Tokyo neighborhoods. Hope Apple considering content like that too. Apple has what maybe seven times the Audience of Amazon Prime? They can nurture young unknowns and promote within iOS and more.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 52unconfirmed, member
    Here comes the "too friendly" comments....
  • Reply 3 of 9
    peteopeteo Posts: 332member
    100m for a crap show from the 90's really? wow the kids these days will watch anything
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,456member
    peteo said:
    100m for a crap show from the 90's really? wow the kids these days will watch anything
    I don’t think they’re watching it. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 9
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 52unconfirmed, member
    Rayz2016 said:
    peteo said:
    100m for a crap show from the 90's really? wow the kids these days will watch anything
    I don’t think they’re watching it. 
    Maybe the poster is 80 years old and thinks 35 year olds are kids?
    fastasleepwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Friends is a great series. I’m uncertain I would qualify it being $100M for one year great though. 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    peteo said:
    100m for a crap show from the 90's really? wow the kids these days will watch anything
    Oh wow I assumed this was some Friends reboot where they'd try to make it funny this time around but it's the old version. The jokes were awful in the 90s, even when I was an easy-to-please teen with no access to the Internet. I don't imagine that series dated well.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 9
    That’s a massive licensing fee for Netflix, but I have to assume they have done the math and it works out in their favor.
  • Reply 9 of 9

    One of the advantages living in a third world "developing" country - Friends is already available on an app called HotStar.

    I never watched it during it's original run. I've started now and it's funny in fits and starts. I've enjoyed other serials more.

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