'Friends' Fans up in Arms Over Show Leaving Netflix in January

Friends fans had a bitter pill to swallow when they checked Netflix this weekend. After being on the streaming site for several years now, it appears that the hit comedy is set to leave the popular streaming service on Jan. 1, 2019.

Fans have already swiftly taken to social media to air their grievances.

"Netflix is going to stop streaming Friends on January 1st. I don't expect expressions of sympathy, but they'd certainly be appreciated," one user wrote.

"As if my life couldn't get any worse, Netflix is taking Friends off," another user added.

"No matter how many emails Netflix sends suggesting 'titles I may enjoy,' they'll never undo the damage of removing #Friends at the end of the year," one tweet read.

The move likely comes as WarnerMedia, the company behind Friends, looks to launch its own streaming service late next year that follows in the footsteps of the Walt Disney Co., according to an October article from Deadline.

"Content like Friends is likely to disappear from Netflix in 2019 as WarnerMedia launches its own SVOD service," wrote BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield in a note. "As more content creators launch their own SVOD services, how should investors think about the impact of losing high-profile syndicated content?"

Losing Friends will likely be a big deal, as the popular show still has massive appeal, nearly 15 years after it aired its series finale. It remains the third most popular sitcom in the United States, behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Big Bang Theory. The same is also true in the United Kingdom.

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"If all the 'Netflix Killers' out there band together and take back their franchises, that would be a serious blow to Netflix," saw Peter Csathy, founder of CreaTV Media. "Kids and family viewing on Netflix represents a surprisingly high number, and kids watch franchise content over and over again. Netflix parents are happy to pay for that kind of babysitting so long as the content is there. If Disney princesses, Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, Pixar and other mega properties pull out of the Netflix universe, Netflix most certainly would feel that."

As for Netflix's plan to stay afloat amid losing big shows like Friends? The company has invested billions in its original content and hopes that success will continue to keep it going.