HBO Max streaming service to launch January 2020
Namely, it has bagged popular television comedy Friends from Netflix, as well as own shows such as Game of Thrones and Westworld.
Friends – which ended in 2004 – is said to be one of Netflix’s most-watched shows. While Netflix does not publish viewership figures, it reportedly paid US$100 million to extend streaming rights by just one year in 2018.
"We're sorry to see Friends go to Warner's streaming service at the beginning of 2020 (in the US). Thanks for the memories, gang," Netflix said Tuesday in a Twitter post labelled "The One Where We Have To Say Goodbye."
The launch of Warner’s streaming service will make it the latest media conglomerate to move into the on-demand space; part of a trend that sees consumers move away from traditional television and cable TV.
HBO parent company AT&T also recently took over TimeWarner and Turner television departments, and has said it will not be offering competing streaming platforms. That means at launch, HBO Max will boast 10,000 of content.
"HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment.