Netflix is further investing in its children’s programming ahead of the launch of a highly anticipated rival: Disney+. The company announced today it has acquired StoryBots — a children’s media company and brand created by JibJab’s founders, Gregg and Evan Spiridellis.
The streaming service isn’t disclosing the acquisition price, but CNBC says the price was “immaterial to Netflix,” citing sources.
Netflix doesn’t often make acquisitions, as it prefers to spend directly on content. However, it does rarely buy content companies — as it did with its first acquisition, indie comic book maker MillarWorld in 2017.
StoryBots’ show “Ask the StoryBots” first launched on Netflix in 2016, and features five curious creatures who track down answers to the questions that kids are often curious about — like how night happens, or why we brush our teeth, for example.
Over the years, it has featured several celeb voices to accompany its animated characters, including Snoop Dogg, Edward Norton, Whoopi Goldberg and Wanda Sykes, among others.
Season 3 of the program is launching on the streaming service in the fall.
The Netflix deal will see the Spiridellis brothers producing more StoryBots original programming, including additional series and short-form content.
The larger goal with Netflix is to have its own brand of popular kids’ educational programming — a Sesame Street for the Netflix era, perhaps.
Other streaming services, including HBO NOW and Apple TV+, already have deals with Sesame Workshop, the former which now airs Sesame Street and the latter which will have muppets teaching kids programming basics.
“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,” said Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, in a prepared statement.