Netflix Acquires StoryBots, Makes Push Into Kids’s Programming — The Motley Idiot


Streaming-giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) would not make acquisitions fairly often. When it does, it is often fairly simple to see the worth it brings to the corporate. After making just one acquisition of a content material firm over the previous twenty years, Netflix has simply made one other. The corporate revealed Thursday that it had acquired StoryBots, a kids’s academic media model, for an undisclosed sum.

Ask the StoryBots has a confirmed monitor report of synthesizing advanced topics into bite-sized classes which are humorous and entertaining for younger youngsters and satisfying for folks,” stated Melissa Cobb, Netflix VP of unique animation, in an announcement saying the deal. “We’re thrilled to welcome Gregg and Evan into the Netflix household and stay up for constructing out the great and kooky StoryBots world, discovering new methods to please our rising member base of households all over the world.”

The Ask the StoryBots landing page on Netflix showing the five bots waving.

Picture supply: Netflix.

You might not know them, however your youngsters most likely do

You is probably not acquainted with StoryBots, except you’ve youngsters and are a Netflix subscriber. The corporate’s program — Ask the StoryBots — follows the adventures of 5 curious animated robots who monitor down the solutions to quite a lot of questions which are of curiosity to kids, like why the sky is blue, how night time occurs, or why we have to brush our tooth.

Season three of the favored present is about to debut on Netflix later this 12 months. Earlier episodes have featured high-profile movie star friends equivalent to actors Edward Norton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Wanda Sykes, in addition to rapper Snoop Dogg and comic Ali Wong.

The characters are the brainchild of Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, the inventive minds behind the favored digital leisure studio JibJab. The brothers first rose to prominence through the 2004 U.S. presidential marketing campaign when their mock video of candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry singing “This Land is Your Land” went viral.

Ask the Storybots is obtainable in 22 languages and may be seen in 190 international locations and has been referred to as “one of the best youngsters’ present on Netflix,” so it is not too arduous to know why the corporate is including the manufacturing to its library of mental property. This system is predicated on an award-winning academic app that is utilized in greater than 80,000 school rooms and was the recipient of the Trainer’s Alternative Awards for 2017 and 2018, in addition to the Tech Edvocate Award. 

The subsequent Sesame Avenue?

StoryBots CEO Gregg Spiridellis talked concerning the acquisition in an interview with CNBC:

Netflix actually desires to create an academic franchise that is international. That is what they see StoryBots as. We need to make StoryBots the following technology of Sesame Avenue. 

The co-founders will take up positions in Netflix’s animation division, working completely on increasing the StoryBots franchise, at the least for the foreseeable future.

This has occurred earlier than

This is not the primary time Netflix has bought a content material firm to beef up its intellectual-property library. The streaming large acquired impartial comedian guide home Millarworld in mid-2017 to safe the skills of its founder Mark Millar. Whereas Millar’s title is probably not acquainted, his work on groundbreaking storylines equivalent to Captain America: Civil Battle, The Avengers, and Logan have actually put his abilities entrance and heart. His creations additionally embrace Kick-Ass, Wished, and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Millar has been adapting plenty of his different creations into motion pictures and tv collection on Netflix, in addition to working to create new characters and storylines for the streaming platform.

A strategic transfer

In recent times, Netflix has been more and more fascinated by kids’s programming, little doubt in anticipation of Disney‘s (NYSE:DIS) upcoming streaming service, Disney+, which is about to debut in November. Netflix has been working to spice up its lineup, including applications like a reboot of Voltron, Guillermo Del Toro’s TrollHunters, and Lemony Snicket’s A Collection of Unlucky Occasions. The corporate even added a present referred to as Beat Bugs, which marries kids’s tales with songs by the Beatles and consists of such musical visitor stars as Eddie Vedder (from the band Pearl Jam), Pink, Sia, and the Lumineers, simply to call a couple of.

The streaming large is not within the behavior of creating acquisitions except they outcome instantly in extra content material, and this one is not any completely different. With Disney+ looming on the horizon and the huge library of films and tv reveals that cater to a youthful viewers out there to it, Netflix desires to make sure it has all its bases lined in time for the Disney+ debut.


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