DreamWorks expands distribution deal with Netflix

With 78% of families with kids subscribed to an SVOD, the streaming platform deepens its child-focused content with a handful of new originals.
January 5, 2016

DreamWorks Animation has inked a deal with Netflix, making the SVOD the home for a number of new original series from the animation studio. The multi-year deal also gives Netflix the streaming rights globally – excluding China – for the DreamWorks feature film library, and extends the rights or some of the current original series currently on the platform. There is no word yet on the valuation of the deal.

Among the titles included are The Adventure of Puss in Boots, Dinotrux (pictured) and Dragons: Race to the Edge, according to a release. New series, expected to launch in 2016, include Voltron and Trollhunters, from Guillermo del Toro. A number of new, yet to be announced, original series will also be developed by DreamWorks for Netflix based on recent and upcoming films, and other classic IP.

Families and kids are increasingly turning to SVOD and on-demand platforms for video content. Research firm PlayScience found that while 40% of U.S. households overall subscribe to one or more such services, 78% of families with children between the ages of two to nine years use them regularly. Of those, more than half subscribe to two or more platforms.

Families tend to subscribe first to broad audience SVOD providers like Netflix and Amazon Video, and the second service typically added is another general audience platform. Only when they take on a third subscription do children-focused services and kid-specific “watch, play and learn” subscriptions achieve substantial numbers. Currently, 13% of family SVOD subscribers currently subscribe to one of the new mobile “watch, play and learn” apps that integrate video, games, creativity and/or interactive educational experiences in ways pure SVOD players like Netflix do not. And among those child-specific “watch, play and learn” services, solo child usability, interactivity and safety are among the most important user experience features parents value.

Half of parents also reveal that when choosing an app and service specifically for their children, the top feature is the presence of educational content and the ability to filter content by knowledge areas. Shows and characters their child likes come in a close second, especially from trusted brands.

In terms of paying for these services, 42% of parents spend just $5 to $10 each month on SVOD, 30% spend $10 to $20, and only 15% spend more than $20, making the kid-focused SVOD space a lucrative one, indeed.

Netflix has been beefing up its children’s programming as of late. Beyond the much-publicized news of its Fuller House reboot, in November it launched a series of five-minute videos to help kids go to sleep based on the Dinotrux IP. In October it commissioned seven new series from a variety of different producers, including Lost & Found Music Studios from Canada’s Temple Street Productions; American Greetings Entertainment and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios’ stop-motion action-comedy Buddy Thunderstruck; and the anime-inspired Glitter Force – a 20-episode series from Saban Brands that targets an ever-growing tween girls market.

It’s not the only player deepening its kids’ content: Amazon Studios has been actively growing its slate of Gen Z-focused fare (having ordered three new series in December and six in October), while HBO made international headlines after securing the rights to the long-lived, critically acclaimed Sesame Street last summer. 

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