Netflix’s CEO is aiming to beat Disney in family animation. The executive sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about how things are heating up in the streaming world. 2020 has seen a host of challengers to the content throne either step up their efforts or try to enter the fray. A once crowded marketplace is now becoming even more saturated by what feels like every single network propping up their own hub of content. Well, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has lofty goals and that includes taking the top spot in family animation away from the biggest entertainment company on the face of the planet. The past couple of years have seen Netflix take up some major ground. But, it has become clear that some more resources are going to be necessary if they’re going to get it done.
"We want to beat Disney in family animation," Hastings explained. "That's going to take a while. I mean, they are really good at it. We're both very focused on building out our animation group and, you know, it's a friendly competition. "We both want to do incredible stories for consumers and we want to be able to raise the bar in that area. We know that they will be a challenger and a competitor for the next 50 years."
This effort makes a ton of sense when you look at some of the family entertainment offerings on the service and how they perform. It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic and having children at home has led a lot of families to scramble for entertainment. Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and things like The Angry Birds movies have been giant hits for the red brand over the last few years. Making sure there’s an avenue for more all-ages programming makes sense if those programs are going to keep consistently ranking in the Top 10 of the service for multiple weeks.
HBO Max has seen some similar results on their young platform. Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that the Looney Tunes Show was more popular than Game of Thrones on the streaming platform. In fact, after launch, Elmo’s late-night talk show and the Warner Bros. cartoon series were the most-watched things on the entire app. Disney has the added advantage of already having numerous franchises already up and flying at launch. Other companies might not have that massive stockpile, but they can capitalize on new content when the iron is hot. From the sounds of Hasting’s comments here, that’s exactly what Netflix is setting out to do.
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