Netflix spent an estimated $8 billion on content this year in an effort to have 1,000 original shows and movies on the service. The show streams exclusively on Netflix in the USA, but in Australia, it streams through Stan and not Netflix. And in the meantime, it's reportedly squeezing $100 million out of Netflix to allow the company to have Friends for one last exclusive year, in 2019. Indeed, while Netflix's renewal of the license allows them to keep Friends in their library at least through the end of 2019, exclusivity is not guaranteed for the length of the deal.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told THR that Friends leaving Netflix soon was only "a rumour". And while Netflix squashed the cancellation rumors for now, it is widely believed the show will eventually move on to a streaming service to be launched by WarnerMedia next year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. However representatives for Warner Bros.
If you're a Friends fan who already has Netflix, what's the incentive to add on another subscription service just to get more of the same?
However, "Friends" may be entering its final year on Netflix, given that the show's owner, WarnerMedia, is debuting its own streaming service towards the end of 2019. It's possible that "glitch" was a premature sign of things to come.
Later in the day Netflix US cleared the air assuring fans that Friends will still be available throughout 2019 and the expiration date was removed. They may not be there for you forever.