DreamWorks Animation, the company behind successful movie franchises such as Madagascar and Shrek, has agreed a deal to stream its films and television specials through Netflix, replacing an existing agreement with HBO, reports the New York Times. The deal is characterised by the companies as the first time a major Hollywood supplier has chosen Web streaming over pay-TV.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks’ Chief Executive, said the pact was “a game-changing deal.” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, added: “You’re seeing power moving back into the hands of content creators. When a company like DreamWorks ends a long-running pay-TV deal — when a new buyer in the space steps up — that’s a really interesting landscape shift.”
Katzenberg said he was confident about the direction Netflix was heading, calling the company’s decision to split streaming and DVD “a very tough and very strategic call that will ultimately prove to be the right one for long-term success.”
Netflix will begin streaming DreamWorks films starting in 2013. Titles from the DreamWorks library, including Kung Fu Panda and Antz, will become available over time, the companies said.
Sarandos said that DreamWorks was one of the few family entertainment brands that mattered. “It’s also a signal to people that we are in no way moving away from movies. Our programming is just reflecting more and more what people want.”