Netflix has signed an exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation.
The streaming TV and movie website will now have the first run rights of 300+ hours of programming. DreamWorks will also be responsible for the third original series on Netflix, adapting this summer’s upcoming movie Turbo into an animated television series.
With a Disney Pixar agreement already in the books for a year, Netflix now has acquired content rights from both of the major, American computer animation studios, in an apparent surge for the child demographic.
On the big red website, the Turbo series will follow in the paths of Netflix’s original series Arrested Development and House of Cards when it debuts later this year presumably by the full season, and, like AD, can be affectionately called “A Netflix Semi-Original.” This will be the first children’s series to debut on Netflix, and is an indication of Netflix’s intentions to become more like a cable provider. However, if the slate is any indication, Netflix still may have a lower bid on the hierarchy than its cable counterparts, and DVD/BLU-ray.
The Turbo series will be the first DreamWorks property on Netflix, and then in 2014, The Croods, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and the Turbo movie will debut at the same time. Where are the Shreks, or the Kung-Fu Pandas? Has anybody even heard of Mr. Peabody and Sherman?
It seems DreamWorks is most keen to have Netflix stream their less notables first. Perhaps they are the most undersold, and thus could benefit the most from being at the fingertip convenience of flat-rate, monthly content customers.
On the Netflix ego-system, previously overlooked fare have a second chance; the content can be recommended for viewers who have watched similar material, thus dropping the attention discrepancy between a heavily marketed commercial success and less notable, if smaller, ventures. From a business standpoint it offers solace to Studios who cannot make every film a tent pole.
When studios want to swing for the fences, however, they will want to keep the mainline of Theater, DVD/BLU-ray, and then cable in tact. This method not only brings more money, but is also suited to the hegemonic powers that be. It seems the media oligarchy in America is warming to the content providers of the internet, but only enough so that they do not anger the overlords who's media empires extend to both cable and movies.
The main reason for this collusion is to push out competition like Netflix, and even that defense is starting to peel back. Now if only DreamWorks Animation could have one of their bosses, studio head Steven Spielberg, put some more of his movies on Netflix …