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: , , , , , , , , ,


Nexus

Google’s Android TV Wants to Put Web Video Next to TV

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: YouTube Attempts Bigger VR/360-Video Splash with...

kevjumba man up

KevJumba’s Feature Film ‘Man Up’ Premieres...

mary-meeker

Mary Meeker on the Biggest Trends in Tech and Advertising

HBO_image

HBO Now Is Coming to Android This Summer

Zealot Networks

Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks Expands to Nashville, Buys...

Shomi

Canada’s Shomi to Go Standalone to Better Compete with Netflix

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 05.28.2015: News to Know

Netflix releases Q1 2015 earnings report

Netflix Is Still the Biggest Bandwidth Hog in North America

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Charter/TWC Post-Merger Could Launch National...

Adult Swim VR

Adult Swim Enters VR Game with ‘Virtual Brainload’ App

hbo gorburger show

HBO Orders TV Pilot Based on Funny or Die Web Series ‘The...

Hulu will be available via five other cable companies

Suddenlink to Bring Hulu to Its Set-Tops

Periscope is Twitter's live-streaming video app

Here Are a Few Must-Know Stats About Live-Video Apps Periscope...

Facebook Fortune The Chat

Time Inc.’s Fortune Is Launching Video Interview Series on...

tribeca-shortlist

Lionsgate, Tribeca Pick Jeff Bronikowski to Run...

"Grace and Frankie" starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will debut on Netflix

Netflix Renews ‘Grace and Frankie’ for Second Season

Fusion debuting new series on Snapchat Discover

Snapchat Hires Former Fox Exec to Beef Up Its Original Programming

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix Plans ‘OrangeCon'; Portal A Hires...

olive and mocha web series

Reviewed! ‘Olive and Mocha’ Proves Kids Say the Most...

Periscope is Twitter's live-streaming video app

Periscope Finally Comes to Android

DEADBEAT_review

Hulu Renews ‘Deadbeat’ for Third Season

Digital video industry news today

Tuesday 05.26.2015: News to Know

AOL

The Guardian Joins AOL’s Video Network

the youtuber who isn't a youtuber andrew vallentine

Meet the Biggest YouTuber Without a Channel

the revolution of publishing online

Back to the Future: The Revolution of Publishing

hulu-plus

Does Taking on Cancelled Network Shows Make Sense for Hulu?

Wayside Creations makes live-action adaptations of video games

Wayside Creations Calls Success on Kickstarter a...

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: FailArmy Launches Second Channel; YouTube Improves...

YouTube fans in Singapore

Endemol Beyond Launches in Singapore, Where YouTubers Happen to Thrive

Who makes the most effective ads on YouTube?

Which Industries Are Creating YouTube’s Most Effective Ads?

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 5.21.15: News to Know

BoJack Horseman second season starts July 2015

‘BoJack Horseman’ Will Return to Netflix on July 17

Dutch YouTuber Enzo Knol will star in a feature film

Film Starring European YouTuber to Come to Theaters in the Netherlands

wibbitz is a text-to-video israeli startup

Text-to-Video Startup Wibbitz Raises $8 Million in Series B Round

this web series about high school cheerleaders rules

Web Series Wednesday: Coming of Age

This kid is shocked by what she's seeing on YouTube Kids.

Google’s YouTube Kids App Is Full of Booze, Drugs, and Gore

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix Grabs Kevin James Film; Vice Sports...