Netflix, Disney, HBO and more streaming services look to target the children's segment because that's where the real battle lies
The headlines have been rife with streaming services buying up old favorites like 'Friends', 'The Office' and 'Big Bang Theory' and a slew of original shows designed to hook new subscribers. But the streaming battle might be decided in the little-discussed but crucial children's segment.
Families are loyal (and far more consistent) customers who renew their subscriptions month after month, unlike fickle millennials who renew subscriptions based on the buzz about new shows. As viewers migrate to platforms that feature fewer or no ads, families with kids have looked to the streaming platforms to act a "digital babysitters" for their children with hours of cartoons, and other kid-friendly films and shows. Netflix has been that platform for some time with original shows created by DreamWorks and the Disney favorites in its library.
But Disney Plus, launching in December, with its vault of Disney-branded TV shows and the Disney-Pixar-Lucas film library, has an advantage, even over its own pay channel Disney Plus. It is also getting back its content from Netflix and other streaming platforms.
To counter this, Netflix has steadily been commissioning new content with an eye to create the next generation of loyal fans among child viewers of original content. Besides its existing library of non-Disney content, and shows created by Dreamworks, it has also commissioned series and movies by hiring teams of animators and writers with industry-experience in creating content for children like Chris Nee ('Doc McStuffins'), Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls) and Kenny Ortega ('High School Musical' franchise) . You can also look forward to original titles like 'Klaus', 'Jacob and the Sea Beast', 'Ghee Happy', 'Over the Moon' and Jeff Smith's classic comic series 'Bone'.
HBO Max is reaching beyond borders to boost its kid's content. It has acquired Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli's library of hand-drawn films that include Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces like the Oscar-winning 'Spirited Away', 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Princess Mononoke', which has never been available on any streaming app before this. HBO Max has also acquired 'Sesame Street' with its enormous back library of 4,500 episodes.
Apple TV Plus has also not been sitting idle either, beginning its foray into children's content with 'Snoopy in Space', 'Helpsters', and 'Ghostwriter'. All in all, children will have decisions to make these holidays that can rival a trip to the candy store on an all-you-can-grabfest and families will be spoilt for choice.