Netflix Broadens Brand with Kids Series, Push Into France


Netflix, the streaming leader in the US, has made a big business out of binge-viewing. But the service’s next series release will go a little differently. 

Dreamworks Animation is producing Netflix’s first animated kid series, Turbo FAST, which it is set to launch Dec. 24, but the first episode will only come with four others simultaneously available to consumers. The other 21 shows scheduled for the first season will be released in bits and pieces along the way, much like a regular TV show.

“Production on animation is [on a] different timetable so we chose to make the episodes that are ready now, available for viewers as they were ready,” Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland, told Variety.

But have no fear, binge-watchers: just because Netflix is slowing its roll with Turbo FAST doesn’t mean others will follow suit. The next season of Lillyhammer, for instance, will debut on Dec. 13 with all eight episodes ready to watch.[more] 

While Americans have become very familiar with Netflix’s release strategy, the people of France have not yet had access to the streaming service, but the company is working on that. According to Reuters, reps from the company met with the French president’s staff Tuesday to talk about possibly bringing the service there.

“Netflix wanted information about the legal conditions that would affect its potential arrival in France,” an official at the president’s office said, Reuters reports. The official also said the Netflix execs would be visiting Germany and other European countries as well. According to Variety, Netflix currently has eight million subscribers in countries overseas.

France has an extremely complex set of rules about when films can be released on DVD and via stream after their time in theaters—rules to protect television and film companies in the country. As a result, though, it has severely hampered the streaming business in France. “Vivendi’s Canal Plus, France’s largest pay-TV service, created (a streaming service) in 2011 called Canalplay Infinity that has attracted few users,” Reuters notes.

Canalplay is hurting for users so much, Ad Age reports, that it has created its own coffee brand to attract consumers. “’Insomny’ is the Joe that promises to give Canalplay viewers the endurance to plow through the service’s vast collection of films and TV shows that they couldn’t possibly view in a single lifetime,” Ad Age notes.

That’s one trick Netflix hasn’t had to try.

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