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Cook: Friends reunion is a ‘rerun’, Apple TV Plus is originals only

Apple did not make an effort to secure the rights for the recently-announced Friends because the company doesn’t want to feature recycled content on Apple TV Plus.

That’s according to the man himself, Tim Cook, who addressed questions from shareholders during the annual meeting on Wednesday.

The Apple CEO said the HBO Max reunion show – which had the internet in raptures earlier this week – wasn’t the right fit for Apple’s original content strategy.

When asked by a shareholder whether Apple had attempted to made a blockbuster signing for Apple TV Plus, Cook said: “It’s not what Apple TV Plus is about. It’s about original programming. It doesn’t feel right for Apple to just go out and take a rerun.”

While it’s unlikely the Friends reunion rights were ever on the market – given it is being made for HBO, which is owned by Warner Bros., which owns Friends – the comments from Cook are telling.

Related: Apple TV Plus vs Netflix

It means we won’t see the familiar streaming trope of resurrecting older and cancelled shows in order to create new series on Apple TV Plus.

Netflix, in particular, has enjoyed success with new and exclusive episodes of series like Trailer Park Boys and Gilmore Girls; although the new series of Arrested Development was less of a hit.

Apple is obviously going all in on first-party content for its fledgling streaming service, which does lessen the chances of quick boosts to monthly subscriptions through fan-pleasing revivals.

Elsewhere in the shareholder meeting (via MacRumors), Cook commented on the threat to the supply chain posed by the coronavirus. Cook called it a “fairly dynamic situation” and said he was prioritising the safety of Apple employees.

He also promised big things for the iPadOS operating system released late last year. When asked why iPad hardware is often ahead of the software, Cook responded: “If you like what you’ve seen us do with iPadOS, stay tuned, we’re going to keep working on it.”

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