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The race to feature original content on streaming video services is officially in full motion. Once simply a mechanism to pump repeats and rentable movies to viewers, streaming services are scrambling to become sources of new and original entertainment. Amazon.com recently made aggressive overtures by launching 14 original pilot episodes that it allowed customers to evaluate. Amazon studios also has created a collaborative experience where users can submit ideas for original series and, if selected, shows are produced with profit sharing. Netflix and Hulu have also entered the race with a handful of original programs, and Netflix recently announced new Arrested Development episodes which it began exclusively airing in May. Major broadcasting networks, such as CBS, are also rumored to be investigating the production of original content for streaming and on demand services.


Yesterday, Netfilix and DreamWorks Animation (known for such blockbusters as Shrek, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon) dropped a bomb into the mix by announcing a multiyear deal between the two companies that calls for over 300 hours of original programming. The agreement is the largest deal, to date, for original content in Netflix history. It also is the first time that DreamWorks will expose characters from its movies to the land of television.

"DreamWorks Animation is a valued partner in our global efforts to provide families the most engaging stories delivered however, whenever and wherever they want," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "This deal represents a major expansion of what's already a phenomenal relationship, allowing us to bring beloved DreamWorks characters to the 40 countries where Netflix operates and setting the stage for us to innovate together as we expand into new markets."

Viewers can expect shows that draw from characters featured in previous and future DreamWorks movies, along with characters from Classic Media (which owns the rights to characters like Casper the Friendly Ghost and Lassie, among others) that DreamWorks acquired last year. The content, like all content in Netflix’s kids section, will have readily viewable ratings provided by Common Sense Media (a nonprofit ratings organization geared toward parents).

"This is an unprecedented commitment to original content in the internet television space," said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg. "Netflix is a visionary company that continues to redefine the way audiences watch television and it is a thrill to add to their growing momentum."


Besides the new agreement, DreamWorks and Netflix have some other irons in the fire. Beginning in December Netflix will debut Turbo F.A.S.T., an episodic animated series that will continue the story line presented in the upcoming theater-bound movie Turbo. Also, Netflix customers in the U.S. and Latin America will have exclusive access to DreamWorks feature films The Croods, Turbo, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Image Credits: DreamWorks Animation SKG and Netflix
 

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This is a good move on netflix part. With all the competition out there between amazon prime and hulu and all the other's, each one will need to get a niche market and have something standout to get the masses. Similar to what cable stations do.. :)
 

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I agree this is a good move. I'm getting a little tired of stale content on Netflix. Anything they can do to increase their content is good in my book. It's a bummer how long it can take even once the movies have been released on DVD.
 
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