Television

Netflix loads up on kids shows yet again with Scholastic deal

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MUMBAI: Netflix has been positioning itself as an online babysitter of sorts with a slew of deals for children's content, thus it has sanctioned even more episodes of the kids' genre.

The streaming-video service said it has expanded an agreement with Scholastic Media, an arm of publisher Scholastic, to offer more of its TV series and video content, such as the shows based on the tween babysitting series, The Magic School Bus and Goosebumps. Most of the new content is available to Netflix members in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Latin America.

Both Netflix and Amazon's Prime Instant Video service have been buying content for children. The idea is twofold: Go after a type of programming that - after sports - can be the most decisive sway factor when a consumer is choosing what entertainment to pay for. Then get children cozy with the format and style of internet-delivered content to create a new generation of subscribers.

Netflix's Scholastic deal marks the first time many of the episodes have been available in the streaming format, and Netflix has an exclusive hold on select programs like The Magic School Bus. However, most of the content is years old.

"When we first added 'The Magic School Bus' and 'Goosebumps' for our members in the US and Canada earlier this summer we knew they would perform well, but after seeing just how popular they were we decided to expand our relationship with Scholastic and bring these great shows to more of our markets," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a release.

Three of the first five programs Amazon will produce as part of its original content push are children's programs, and last month the company ordered up kids' content solely for its next round of five pilots.

Netflix is also working to fill a kids' content void. The site declined high-demand Nickelodeon content earlier this year because parent Viacom wanted to bundle it together with less popular programs in a hulking deal. Amazon later snatched up the forsaken Viacom content.

The latest deal with Scholastic however doesn't include video content related to Scholastic's most blockbuster brand, the Harry Potter series.

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