Netflix and Nickelodeon Join Forces
Mon, April 19, 2021

Netflix and Nickelodeon Join Forces

Netflix is taking on the challenge head-on by partnering with another kids’ entertainment giant, Nickelodeon, which has promised to produce original content like films and TV shows for the streaming service / Photo by: Coolcaesar via Wikimedia Commons

 

“Are you ready kids?!” This question is practically well known in every language, as well as the enthusiastic response: “Aye! Aye! Captain!” It’s also safe to assume that both kids and the young at heart know which show this phrase came from. This only shows how “Spongebob Squarepants” and the Nickelodeon channel, in general, have become part of most everyone’s lives. 

In this age where video streaming has become a lucrative business, people have learned to rely on companies such as Netflix to get the content they wish to view whenever they feel like it. Netflix, of course, has been lording it over the industry for a few years now.

It’s gotten a strong competition though in Disney+, which was just recently launched and in one day, managed to get around 10 million subscribers on board with its promise of the full library of Disneyland classics and contemporary hits plus Marvel and Star Wars contents thrown in for good measure. It’s a streaming juggernaut, to say the least.

Netflix is taking on the challenge head-on by partnering with another kids’ entertainment giant, Nickelodeon, which has promised to produce original content like films and TV shows for the streaming service. Tech Crunch, an American online publisher focusing on the tech industry, mentioned in their article that the multi-year output deal between the two companies will allow Netflix to have Nickelodeon’s well-known library of characters.

The Partnership

“Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal,” said Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon, who will become ViacomCBS’ head of kids and family entertainment once the Viacom and CBS merger is completed in December, as reported by Variety, an American media company.

The arrangement will yield original animated feature films and TV series based on the existing Nickelodeon library of characters. The partnership will let the fans of characters from “The Loud House” and “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” to see them once again on the small screen. The deal will also bring animated specials like “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” and “Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus” to Netflix. 

Deadline, an online news site with the entertainment industry as its focus, reported that the Netflix-Nickelodeon merger will broaden both companies’ reach in the fourth quarter. CBS All Access and Showtime’s OTT service are said to have 25 million subscribers by 2022. 

A strategy for kids

The partnership is also strategic since Netflix is currently losing its younger audience to Disney+. Having the Nickelodeon library of content will appeal to kids and families, which is a powerful demographic that most streamers today target. 

“Nickelodeon has generated scores of characters that kids love, and we look forward to telling wholly original stories that reimagine and expand on the worlds they inhabit,” said Melissa Cobb, vice president of Nickelodeon in a statement. She added that they are thrilled to continue collaborating with Brian Robbins, Ramsey Naito, and the creative team at Nickelodeon in new ways as they look to find fresh voices and bring bold stories to their global audience in Netflix. 

Netflix also shared in an interview the value of kids’ programming to its service, noting that around 60% of their global audience consumes children and family content every month. The new Nickelodeon programming will be a part of the Netflix Animation division, which features family animated feature films like “Klaus” from Sergio Pablos and “Dino Girl Gauko” from Japan. 

There is also a lot of competition in the market today, with Disney+ just the latest entrant. Apple TV+, another strong contender, also features kids’ shows like “Snoopy in Space” and “Ghostwriter” from Sesame Workshop. HBO Max also has a deal with Sesame Workshop for 4,500+ Sesame Street back catalog episodes and first-run episodes.

Deadline, an online news site with the entertainment industry as its focus, reported that the Netflix-Nickelodeon merger will broaden both companies’ reach in the fourth quarter / Photo by: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

 

Nickelodeon’s Legacy

Twenty-five years ago, Robbins assembled a team of teens for a sketch comedy show called “All That” for Viacom, which became all that and more as Nickelodeon. The aspiring young producers created the goofy channel that helped usher in a period of peak imagination with the “Rugrats,” “Blue’s Clues,” and of course, “SpongeBob Squarepants.” 

Now, Robbins is back at the Viacom cable network in a much different role. Chicago Tribune, a media company that publishes news and media updates, reported that the producer has returned to help the company craft a comprehensive strategy to survive and thrive in the hypercompetitive streaming business. 

Back in the 1990s, Nickelodeon’s competition was Cartoon Network, PBS, and the Disney Channel. The network is currently fending off incursions from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+. “We have to move fast, and continue to evolve as the business evolves,” Robbins said in an interview. He added that for the last few months, his priority has been to recreate the excitement that once defined Nickelodeon. 

In its 40-year history, Nickelodeon has been a leader in kids’ entertainment. However, Nielsen ratings data shared that the children’s network lost nearly 60% of its audience since 2010. The partnership with Netflix is hoped to help the company become victorious once more in the children’s network wars.

In its 40-year history, Nickelodeon has been a leader in kids’ entertainment. However, Nielsen ratings data shared that the children’s network lost nearly 60% of its audience since 2010 / Photo by: Mikerajchel via Wikimedia Commons