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Inside Netflix: The revolution will be animated

In the third of a series of reports from Netflix studios, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK reveals a coming explosion in animated content



A new era in animation

His comments are at the heart of the new era in animation that Netflix appears ready to kick-start. It has offered children’s viewing since 2011, and its first kids original content show debuted in 2013. However, its current strategy coalesced when it hired Melissa Cobb, who had produced Kung Fu Panda movies for Dreamworks, to head up a Kids & Family division.

Melissa Cobb

“So it turns out that Netflix subscribers have kids. Who knew, right?” she jokes during a session on Kids and Family. “One of the things that’s amazing about Netflix is that we really have an opportunity to understand what our audience is watching. And we see that about 60% of our audience every month watches some kids and family content.

“We want to make sure that they have a great selection of content to choose from that is curated by a team of people who really know and love family entertainment, and is appropriate for kids to watch and for families to watch together. So it’s the viewership that drives us to continue to invest in the space.”

Cobb emphasises that Netflix is a fully global platform.

“When we think about families, we realise that they are not all the same, every family has different tastes, different aged kids, different levels of maturity, maybe different cultures they are coming from, and we want them to be able to create their own Netflix, the one that’s appropriate for their family. So we look for creators from all over the world.”

Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation at Netflix, describes the strategy as a “product mission”, which is “to provide the best possible Netflix experience we can for every member of the household, for every age, for every, every potential viewer”.

“We want parents to feel confident when their kids use Netflix, that the parent feels that when they step out of the room, they have the confidence that their kid is going to have a great experience, that they’re not inadvertently going to come across some content that’s inappropriate. And that they feel empowered to make the choices that are right for their family.”

Click here to read about how inclusion was key for Netflix’s success.


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