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Netflix Faces Fierce Competition in Children Content

Netflix Faces Fierce Competition in Children Content

Wednesday, 16 October, 2019 - 05:00
The Netflix logo on Sept. 19, 2014 in Paris. Pascal Le Segretain—Getty Images
London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Walk the halls of Netflix Animation, spread across three buildings in the heart of Hollywood, and a cheeky question may cross your mind: Is anyone left at Disney Channel headquarters?

Chris Nee, the force behind "Doc McStuffins," the groundbreaking Disney Channel series, decamped for Netflix in December. She followed Alex Hirsch, a cartoon whiz who created "Gravity Falls" for Disney.

Naketha Mattocks, a former executive at the Disney Channel, where she helped steer the popular "Descendants" movies, now heads up Netflix's family film unit. She is working with Kenny Ortega, a veritable Disney legend known for shepherding the blockbuster "High School Musical" franchise.

Netflix's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos said he has chosen to make Netflix his creative home to work on both feature films and series. Netflix has been a force in children's entertainment for years, its usefulness as a digital babysitter helping it grow into a streaming behemoth with 152 million subscribers worldwide. But it now faces the biggest competitive threat in its history. According to The New York Times, Disney, the company that has supplied much of Netflix's most popular programming for children and families, is determined to be a streaming giant in its own right.

Disney Plus, a streaming service that arrives on Nov. 12, will offer a colossal array of shows and films, including 7,500 episodes of old Disney-branded TV shows, 25 original series, Marvel movies, National Geographic specials, 30 seasons of "The Simpsons" and the entire Disney-Pixar-Lucasfilm library. At $7 a month, Disney Plus will be cheaper than Netflix, which charges $13 for its standard plan.

And Disney will no longer license its content to Netflix. Disney Channel shows like "Sofia the First" and Pixar movies like "Coco" will disappear gradually from Netflix as their contracts end and reappear on Disney Plus.

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