• Netflix enters multi-year output deal with Nickelodeon for original and legacy content
  • Nickelodeon pivots its strategy to enter the streaming wars as a distributor
  • Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms,” says president

Nickelodeon (Elizabeth Winterbourne)

Kids’ content: Viacom-owned Nickelodeon enters deal with Netflix

Source: Elizabeth Winterbourne / Shutterstock

Global streaming giant Netflix has announced a multi-year output deal with Viacom-owned kids’ network Nickelodeon.

The deal sees Netflix to partner with Nickelodeon to produce original and animated films and television series for children and families around the world based on its library of characters and new originals.

As part of the deal, a SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff exclusive to Netflix will be created along with popular titles from an existing relationship between the two that brought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Rocko’s Modern Life among others to the service.

In a statement, Netflix vice president of original animation Melissa Cobb said: “Nickelodeon has generated scores of characters that kids love, and we look forward to telling wholly original stories that re-imagine and expand on the worlds they inhabit.

“We’re thrilled to continue collaborating with Brian Robbins, Ramsey Naito, and the creative team at Nickelodeon in new ways as we look to find fresh voices and bring bold stories to our global audience on Netflix.”

According to a report by the New York Times children’s programming has become one of the most competitive formats of TV and “Netflix has ramped up production” as it faces stronger competition with the likes of Amazon and the newly launched Disney+ service.

The deal reflects a strategic shift for Viacom’s Nickelodeon. Rather than building another streaming service, it has pivoted its strategy to create and produce content for existing streaming services and those who can pay the most for their content.

It is a clever move considering its cable networks are in decline because of cord-cutting.

MTV, also owned by Viacom, has been making shows for online buyers, including Facebook Watch.

Nickelodeon president Brian Robbins said: “Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal.

“The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of Animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially.

“The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team on a premium slate of original animated content for kids and families around the world.”