“Friends” most-streamed show on HBO Max, AT&T says

HBO Max, where the “Max” stands for “Maximum confusion.” (Image: WarnerMedia/AT&T/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

The former NBC sitcom “Friends” is the most-streamed show on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max, the company said in a press release this week.

The AT&T subsidiary said Friends and another sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, were “performing beyond expectations and diving high levels of engagement on HBO Max.”

Friends was exclusive to rival streaming service Netflix until the end of last year. After a five-month absence from the world of streaming television, it became exclusive to HBO Max. A reunion show is planned with the cast of Friends, though production has been delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic.

The dramatic series “Love Life,” an HBO Max original show starring Anna Kendrick, was the second most-streamed show on the platform. WarnerMedia said other HBO Max originals — including Doom Patrol, Looney Toons Cartoons, the Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, Search Party and Expecting Amy — rounded out the top 25 of all shows and movies on the service.

“The platform is seeing tremendous engagement with users, with 70 percent more time spent on HBO Max versus HBO Now,” executives said in a statement, comparing WarnerMedia’s new streaming service to its legacy online-only offering.

HBO Now remains one of the few ways to stream HBO programming on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. Both platforms still don’t have HBO Max due to an ongoing dispute involving an existing agreement between AT&Ts WarnerMedia and the platforms over subscriptions sold natively through Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. AT&T said both platforms will lose access to HBO Now by the end of the month.

WarnerMedia says HBO Max is home to more than “10,000 hours of curated premium content,” including original shows and licensed movies from HBO, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, CNN, DC Universe and other Warner Bros.-owned properties.

The service is accessible to viewers using iOS and Android phones and tablets as well as Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Xbox One devices.