Netflix, DreamWorks Partner on Original Kids Series
The series, "Turbo: F.A.S.T.," is based on DWA's movie "Turbo," which is scheduled to open in theaters this summer. "Turbo: F.A.S.T." will debut exclusively on Netflix in the U.S. and 40 other countries.
Netflix and DWA are not revealing the financial terms of the deal. But it doesn't just include this new series. New movies from the studio will be available to U.S. subscribers starting with its 2013 films.
Like "House of Cards," which was released as a full series on Feb. 1 for binge viewers, this is a big deal for Netflix: (Read More: Netflix's 'House of Cards' Binge Strategy.)
Netflix is doubling down on kids content, investing to make itself a can't-miss subscription for families. DreamWorks Animation content must be pricey -- the studio spends years and well over $100 million to produce its feature films. But Netflix is building on its area of strength -- it has a massive kids audience, streaming more than 2 billion hours of children's content last year. Parents like Netflix's easy way to find family friendly movies and shows on-demand and ad-free.
For DreamWorks Animation, it's a much-needed new revenue stream.DWA shares have plummeted on reports that the animation studio could lay off as much as 20 percent of its staff. (Read More: DreamWorks Shares Fall After Movie Delay)
The company has struggled with incredibly volatile stock performance, which reflects the fact that it releases just a few films a year. The reports of layoffs come as the studio delayed release of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" from November 2013 to March 2014. DWA has been working on more TV shows, but the nature of its premium digital animation means a long lead-time. The Netflix deal is yet another move to diversity revenue away from reliance on the box office just twice a year, and the resulting home video revenue.
For other tech news, see:
_ Spy Movie Staple, Apple Smart Watches May Arrive Soon
_ By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; follow her on Twitter at @Jboorstin.