The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Gone from Netflix, DVD sales of “Friends” soar

DVD and digital sales of the TV series “Friends” have tripled since the show became unavailable to stream on Netflix in the United States.

Streaming service Netflix landed the 10-season show in 2015 and paid a reported $100 million to keep the show on for another year after its initial agreement with WarnerMedia expired in 2018.

The episodes were finally removed from Netflix on January 1 as WarnerMedia readies its own streaming service, HBO Max, will will serve as the series’ new home when it launches in April.

But many fans aren’t interested in waiting four months to get their fix of Ross, Rachel, Joey and the rest.

Warner Bros. Entertainment executive Rosemary Markson said the company has seen a tripling in sales for physical and digital copies of the show since the start of the year.

“At the beginning of the year, it was the top-selling catalog-TV franchise in home entertainment,” Markson told trade publication Variety on Friday. “e were seeing strong sales across both physical and digital, and we’ve seen a particularly strong uptick in digital.”

Unlike streaming services, physical and digital copies of the show provide some permanence for viewers who want to watch the show over and over again for years on end — a fact that was not lost on Markson.

“If you think of DVDs as the original bingeing mechanism, it’s a way to collect and adds permanence and repeatability to be able to watch the show,” Markson said.

Copies of the show on DVD are available on Amazon for around $70, while the Blu-Ray version of the show sells for about $120 (it’s available cheaper at Walmart and Target as of this writing). Apple’s iTunes ran a discount for the show just a few months before the Netflix deal expired, but is currently selling the series at the full digital retail price of $140.

Warner Bros. Entertainment is a unit of WarnerMedia, which is a subsidiary of AT&T.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).