May 9, 2019 / 4:17 PM / a month ago

Netflix buys kids show producer StoryBots

The Netflix logo is is shown on an ipad in Encinitas, California, April 19,2013. Netflix Inc reported on April 22, 2013 a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as the dominant video rental service added new streaming subscribers in the United States. Netflix shares soared to $207.39 in after-hours trading, rising 19 percent from a close of $174.37 on Nasdaq. For January through March, Netflix recorded $19 million in net income, excluding a loss for retiring debt, and adjusted earnings per share of 31 cents. Picture taken April 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)

(Reuters) - Netflix Inc said on Thursday it acquired StoryBots, known for “Ask the StoryBots” series, as it looks to make more shows for children ahead of the launch of Walt Disney Co’s streaming service later this year.

Disney’s new family-friendly streaming service, Disney+, expected to launch on Nov. 12, will feature programming from the Marvel superhero universe, the “Star Wars” galaxy, “Toy Story” creator Pixar animation, the National Geographic channel and the entire library of “The Simpsons.”

StoryBots, which has bagged several Emmy-awards, was founded by brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, who also created the entertainment studio JibJab Media Inc.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

This is the second content company acquisition by streaming giant, after comics publisher Millarworld in 2017, as the company continues to spend billions to hook new customers and build a library of original series and films. Netflix also bought ABQ Studios last year.

The purchase of Millarworld brought on board renowned comic book writer Mark Millar and a host of character franchises.

Netflix in November also signed an agreement with the Roald Dahl Story Co and said it would adapt celebrated British children’s author Roald Dahl’s books such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda” as animation series.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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