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Netflix readies for Disney+ battle with acquisition of children’s media brand StoryBots

This is a rare acquisition by Netflix, only the third in its history

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MUMBAI: Netflix, the world’s most famous streaming service, has added another dimension to its arsenal by acquiring StoryBots – a children’s media brand created by Gregg and Evan Spiridellis.

According to industry insiders, the Reed Hastings-led company made the move with an eye on Disney+, Walt Disney’s streaming service that will debut in November this year.

Despite spending billions on content, Netflix rarely invests in content companies. In fact, this is its third acquisition after Millarworld in 2017 and ABQ Studios in 2018.

Under the StoryBots deal, the Spiridellis brothers will produce more original content for Netflix, including series and short-form specials.

Both Gregg and Evan Spiridellis will work at Netflix’s animation department with a mandate of expanding the pre-school entertainment and educational franchise.

“Ask the StoryBots’ has a proven track record of synthesising complex subjects into bite-sized lessons that are funny and entertaining for young kids and satisfying for parents,” Netflix VP of original animation Melissa Cobb said.

“We are thrilled to welcome Gregg and Evan into the Netflix family and look forward to building out the wonderful and whimsical StoryBots world, finding new ways to delight our growing member base of families around the world.”

Commenting on the development, Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, in a statement, said, “Together with Netflix, our goal is to make StoryBots the leading educational entertainment brand for connected kids and families globally. We see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring something epically good into the world.”

The duo founded JibJab Media in Brooklyn in 1999 and launched launched StoryBots online in 2012.

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