Online streaming services provider Netflix has signed an exclusive deal with DreamWorks Animation to stream the studio’s box office hits to its customers, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The deal doesn’t go into effect until 2013, however. DreamWorks has an output partnership with HBO that expires in 2013, and Netflix would stream a limited number of DreamWorks films until that time, and then replace HBO in 2013.
It is also a bet by Jeffrey Katzenberg (chief executive of the animation studio) that consumers in the near future will not distinguish between the two. “We are really starting to see a long-term road map of where the industry is headed,” Mr. Katzenberg said in an interview. “This is a game-changing deal.”
The DreamWorks deal will allow Netflix to stream its animation flicks for an unspecified number of years to come. Analyst claim that the deal is worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks for the next few years. Normally, Netflix purchases streaming rights for later time windows, usually after premium cable channels get to show the movies.
Under the contract, which replaces a similar pay TV pact between DreamWorks and HBO, Netflix will begin offering exclusive access to the studio’s new films in 2013, with Antz, Kung Fu Panda and other titles from its library slated to become available for streaming sometime thereafter.
Analysts believe that deals like this will keep Netflix ahead of its competition as a number of streaming services to rival Netflix are on the rise. Netflix shares have dropped 50 percent in just two months.