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State of the Screens

Why ‘Friends’ is still important to content providers 14 years later

By December 11, 2018No Comments
Big news: Friends is staying put on Netflix at least through 2019.

The show went off the air 14 years ago, but that didn’t keep fans from freaking out after word spread that it was leaving Netflix by the end of the year.

Still popular: Friends averaged 28M viewers at its peak and still draws 2.2M for repeats on Nick at Nite.

Still not convinced? Tinder (yes that Tinder) recently released the top shows that people list in their profiles and Friends was #1!

Comparison of annual deal size between Netflix and Warner:
1) Old deal (2014–18) — $30M
2) New deal (2019) — $100M (↑ 233%)

Quick math #1:
1) Domestic subscribers — 58.5M
2) Annual cost to license Friends — $100M
3) Netflix is paying $0.14 per month for each domestic subscriber in order to license the show.

Quick math #2:
1) Annual cost to license Friends — $100M
2) # of seasons — 10
# of episodes — 236
$/season to license — $10M
$/episode to license — $424K

Dive deeper: Excellent tweet storm from Matthew Ball @ MediaREDEF.

More #1: Why it’s difficult for Netflix and ‘Friends’ to go on a break

More #2: ‘Friends’ is staying on Netflix ‘throughout 2019,’ company says

More #3: Warner Spares Netflix. But At What Cost?

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.