Netflix-DreamWorks Deal Delivers Original Kids’ Programming

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation are teaming to offer the streaming service’s latest push into original programming. Netflix will release “Turbo: F.A.S.T.” on December 24, a 26-episode 2D animated series based on DreamWorks’ feature film “Turbo,” about racing snails. The series is the first step in a deal that plans to offer 300 hours of programming via the service. Netflix says it exclusively streams 30 children’s series today, each generating more than 2 million viewers.

In a departure from its usual approach of releasing entire seasons on a single date, Netflix will initially make five episodes available. The service will then release additional batches of episodes — or “pods” — around holidays when viewing activity increases.

“Historically we have said that original series will be released in ways that best support the story, so if it suits the show, it is always possible we could release in a different way,” said Netflix spokeswoman Karen Barragan. “Production on animation is on a different timetable, so we chose to make the episodes that are ready now available for viewers as they were ready.”

While Netflix will get more attention from adult series such as ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Arrested Development,’ the kids arena ‘is incredibly strategic to us,’ says chief content officer Ted Sarandos, and is the subject of a ‘very broad initiative’ that eventually will give the service first dibs on DreamWorks Animation feature films and those released by Disney and its Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm labels,” reports USA Today.

“Family viewing on Netflix platform is a gigantic part of the value, and driving continued customer growth for them,” explains Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation chief.

“There’s a reason for Netflix’s commitment,” notes USA Today. “Subscribers who watch kids’ shows on Netflix tend to use the service more often, Sarandos says, and presumably see a better return on the $7.99 monthly fee. And kids often watch the same episodes over and over, behavior that ‘lends itself to the on-demand model,’ he says. So does a commercial-free environment that means parents ‘don’t have to contend with toy-nag ads.'”

The trailer for “Turbo: F.A.S.T.” is available on Variety.

Related Stories:
Netflix Won’t Release ‘Turbo: FAST’ for Binge Viewing, CNNMoney, 12/3/13
Netflix’s New Series is Breaking from the Binge-Watching Model, TIME, 12/3/13