/// Analysis: Netflix, Dreamworks and the Brave New Content Licensing World

June 17, 2013  |  Media Week

Netflix has signed an agreement with DreamWorks for exclusive content produced by the latter, in addition to the upcoming Turbo: F.A.S.T. (based on this summer's movie of the same name about a racing snail). The deal goosed the streaming service's stock considerably, sending it up 7.1 percent as of this writing. DreamWorks appears to be angling for a presence on every major non-Disney kid-friendly network (company founder Jeffrey Katzenberg's feud with his ex-employers at Disney is the stuff of Hollywood legend ). The studio has launched Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Monsters vs. Aliens cartoons on Nickelodeon over the last few years, an original for TBS called Neighbors from Hell (since canceled), and a How to Train Your Dragon spinoff on Cartoon Network . But it's the film exclusivity that makes this particular deal so promising: movie windowing is becoming a more and more significant part of rights negotiations , with movie heavyweights like Steven Spielberg (another DreamWorks principal) and George Lucas going so far as to predict a massive shift from theaters to television . The current multi-year deal covers this year's crop of DreamWorks movies: The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody and Sherman. The company underwent layoffs in February, with reports citing out-of-control costs (its last 13 consecutive films had budgets of at least $135 million each). The new agreement will represent a way to stabilize the business model, amortizing some of the expense of the pricey tentpole movies. Last year's Rise of the Guardians, for example, which featured a starry cast and a screenplay by Pulitzer-winning playwright, flopped extravagantly at the box office, and the company has largely abandoned product placement


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