If Netflix wants a piece of TV’s future, House of Cards isn’t going to cut it. It’s not that critically acclaimed, Golden Globe-winning series don’t count for anything. But any company trying to redefine what we’ve traditionally called “television” is going to need to reel in eyeballs at their tiniest: Netflix needs kids.
That’s why the next phase of Netflix’s exclusive content push is focused on children’s programming. Most notably, the company will soon stream reboots of 1980s cartoons Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse, in addition to three other kid-specific shows.
Explains The Verge:
Alongside Inspector Gadget, Netflix is also picking up a reboot of Danger Mouse, a British cartoon about a secret agent, who is also a mouse, that parodied spy fiction. The reboot will premiere in spring of 2016, and Stephen Fry is on board to voice Danger Mouse’s boss. Additionally, Netflix is picking up two other cartoons: Bottersnikes & Gumbles, a comedy based on an Australian book series; and Super 4, which comes from Playmobil. It’s also acquired the live-action show Some Assembly Required, which is about a 14-year-old who runs a toy company.
This new focus on children’s programming comes at a time when Netflix’s competitors are also investing more in kid-centric content. Just last week, Google announced YouTube Kids, a stand-alone app that delivers only the kid stuff and packages it in a youngster-friendly interface. Meanwhile, Amazon just renewed four children’s shows of its own.
For these companies, pushing into the children’s content market is a crucial part of the “original programming” movement: Not only does it help them more competitively court parents of young children, but it helps condition the next generation of paying consumers to turn to brands like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon rather than traditional networks and cable channels.
With its new lineup, Netflix also manages to ride the ’80s nostalgia train all the way to what it hopes is the bank. Can’t hurt to try.