The 50/50 plan
Netflix intends to maintain momentum by upping originals output to equal acquisitions
Of all the moves made by Netflix in the past year, one thing has remained the same: The SVOD giant has retained its number-one spot in the Hot50 broadcasting category for the third year running. It’s a feat that Netflix’s global kids content director Andy Yeatman attributes to the SVOD’s robust kids catalog and the level of creative freedom it offers to producers. “We are working with a number of broadcasters on co-productions, including CBBC, CBeebies, ABC Australia and Family Channel in Canada, with the goal of making the best programming possible,” says Yeatman.
With more than 85 million members hailing from 190 countries, Netflix’s year has been marked by rapid growth on all fronts. The SVOD launched 20 new original kids shows covering preschool, animation and live action in 2016, including Word Party, Beat Bugs and Skylanders Academy. Aiming to have a 50/50 original to licensed content ratio, more originals in the pipeline include big-name productions like Julie’s Greenroom with The Jim Henson Company—a new 13 x half-hour preschool show co-created by and starring Oscar-winner Julie Andrews and a cast of original puppet kids that launches in March.
“Production has changed dramatically, and it’s hard to find a time when more kids shows were in development both in animation and live action, thanks to platforms like Netflix,” contends Yeatman. We have helped up the game in terms of content, and we’re letting broadcasters up their own games in a competitive environment.”
In terms of the competition, he says Netflix is staying focused on building a kids slate with an international focus. Currently, children’s shows are dubbed into 20 languages on the service, and moves are being made to expand production into new territories. For example, the first kids original from Latin America, Anima Estudio‘s Las Leyendas, is slated for a 2017 debut. “We only started doing originals in 2014, so things are ramping up quickly,” says Yeatman. “The next six months will be our biggest in terms of children’s series launching.”