Netflix and Amazon Battle for Your Kids
/ Jun 28, 2013

netflixvsamazon

I didn’t learn to swim for a long time growing up, because of “She-Ra: Princess of Power.” See, I was born in the 1980s, and when I was five, my parents signed me up for swim lessons. But those classes meant I had to skip my favorite animated princess adventure at least once a week, and I threw a temper tantrum so epic that my parents basically gave up on the idea until I was older and more reasonable. (Sorry I was a brat, Mom and Dad.)

That story won’t make any sense to the generation currently in diapers, because between DVR, DVD, and VOD, they will have little-to-no concept of television programming that can’t be time-shifted. And that’s just what Netflix and Amazon are banking on.

One of the more interesting battles over the last six months has been between the two companies and that most precious of commodities — quality children’s television. Not only are both companies committing huge resources to developing original content for kids — Netflix in partnership with DreamWorks, Amazon through its Amazon Studios project — but they are also exclusively licensing more and more mainstreaming kids shows.

Amazon, as it seeks to build its Prime Instant Video offering, is leaning especially hard on this approach, most recently striking an exclusive deal with Viacom for children’s programming.

This proves to be extremely smart, because while the battles involve big companies like Disney and Viacom, the real chess pieces in play are beloved characters such as Twilight Sparkle, Mickey Mouse, and Dora the Explorer.

And that turns out to be huge. This is because an adult — who’s hopefully learned how to process disappointment — can handle “Downton Abbey” being unavailable on Netflix (there are plenty of other British costume dramas available on the service, after all).

But when you’re a child and already feeling pretty powerless, being told that there’s no more “Dora” has been documented by parents as heart-breaking.

It’s a natural side effect of growing up with the expectation of instant access to this content, not to mention the blurring of the line between what you watch and where you watch it.

I have a young cousin who’s grown up with both cable TV and web video access, and she makes no distinction between Disney Channel on TV and DisneyChannel.com on the computer — to her, it’s all the same.

Aiming young and encouraging these habits isn’t just a smart move right now — it’s an approach that should in theory help both Netflix and Amazon thrive in the future. The important thing is the content available; both sites have strong offerings (I didn’t even realize how much Disney content Netflix was currently hosting until I dug into their Netflix for Kids interface) but the more exclusive each side gets, the more parents will either have to pick between them — or subscribe to both.

Because when a kid wants something, it’s hard for a parent to say no.

“She-Ra: Princess of Power,” by the way, is currently available on Netflix. (But it doesn’t really hold up.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


AmazonInstant

Amazon Loses Net $126M in Revs; Still Plans $100M for Original Video

FacebookVSYoutube

Facebook Covertly Poised to Take Over Video Space

yahoobuildingsign

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube: Yahoo

RhettandLink

Rhett & Link on Endless Ideas and a Creative Partnership

CondeNastLogo

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube: Conde Nast

complex3

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube: Complex

ComCast

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube: Comcast

Alist_article

ION Introduces the Brand Channel Network

Trip_t0_italy

Former MTV Series Finds a New Home Online

twitchtube

Google (Reportedly) Finally Buys Twitch for $1 Billion

AppleTV

Why ‘Smart’ Advertisers Should Look to Smart TVs

AmazonInstant

Amazon to Spend $100 Million on Original Pilots

FlippsMusic

Flipps App Hops on the Music Video Bandwagon

fullscreenlogo

The Six Companies Taking on YouTube: Fullscreen

AOLadvertising

AOL Names Marta Martinez as New Global Head of Video Sales

VIS_EpicMealTime

‘Epic Meal Empire’ First Episode on YouTube Before...

barcroft_TV

Barcroft Media to Invest in Creating Premium MCN

Copyright_image

EXCLUSIVE: Jukin Media Advances Rights Management Agenda –...

SingleShot

Seinfeld Creates Espresso Version of ‘Comedians in Cars’

SamsungOculus

The Future of Video Creation Is Virtual Thanks to Oculus and Samsung

FrankensteinMD_Victoria

‘Frankenstein MD’ Series Reveals Cast Lineup + First...

Xbox_one_Alist

Xbox One Gets More Social With Update

Divergent_Comcast

Comcast Pact with Lionsgate Expands Their Digital Footprint

tubularlabs

INSIDE LOOK: How Tubular Labs Wants to Help Brands Kill It on YouTube

NewsToKnow

Thursday 7.24: News to Know

FrankensteinMD

Bernie Su’s Pemberley Digital Gets Air Date for...

Maker Studios 5

Maker Studios to Make an Appearance at Comic-Con 2014

fullscreenlogo

Chernin and AT&T Close to Buying Controlling Stake in...

studio71 the mansion

German MCN Studio71′s ‘The Mansion’ Opens...

Roosevelts

PBS to Show 14-Hour Ken Burns Documentary Online…and on TV

YouTubeMusic

Executive in Charge of YouTube’s Music Service Quits

filmmaking

2014 Independent Film Week Shines a Brand New Spotlight on Digital

5ViewerShipTips

MIPTV to Expand MIP Digital Fronts in 2015

MichellePhan

Michelle Phan Sued for Music Copyright Infringement

VIS_EpicMealTime

First Look! ‘Epic Meal Time’ Gets Ready to Build an ‘Empire’

Peter Hollens Wicked Medley

And Now, a ‘Wicked’ Medley from YouTubers Peter...

TheFineBros

The Fine Brothers Expand ‘React’ Franchise with New...

InstagramLink

Why Instagram Isn’t Interested in Your Links