Hey parents — you may no longer have to shell out money for DVDs to keep your kids entertained, as long as you have a Netflix (s NFLX) subscription. By adding a wealth of childrens’ content to its instant streaming service, the subscription video company is going after the next generation of online video viewers today, with new streaming titles from Nickelodeon (s VIA), PBS and Disney (s DIS).
Just by clicking on its “New TV Shows” selection, instant streaming users will see that Netflix’s addition of new streaming titles clearly meant to appeal to younger audiences. The section includes a vast collection of kid-friendly titles, including PBS’ Barney, Kipper and Thomas & Friends, as well as Nickelodeon’s Blues Clues, Wonder Pets, Dora the Explorer, Spongebob Squarepants, Fairly Odd Parents, Hey Arnold! and Drake & Josh. For slightly older kids, the new titles also include Disney’s Hannah Montana and Jonas L.A..
Adding kid-friendly titles will be a boon to parents, especially to those who have Netflix streaming content available in the living room through connected TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles or broadband set-top boxes. Those parents will no longer be subject to the whims of PBS or Nickelodeon’s scheduling, or have to purchase DVDs of their kids’ favorite TV shows to keep them happy.
The addition of kids’ content is also a coup for Netflix, which is trying to differentiate itself from a recently announced subscription service from Hulu Plus, which like Netflix, aims to make TV content availability on PCs and connected devices for a low monthly subscription fee. But while Hulu’s service is limited mostly to content from its broadcast TV parents and content partners, Netflix has been writing checks to license cable TV programming.
On the company’s earnings call, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings admitted that he saw Hulu as a direct competitor. And in his management commentary of second-quarter results, Hastings said that the company would add a mix of exclusive and non-exclusive TV content to bolster interest in the streaming service, in a move that seems to be aimed at countering the emerging threat from Hulu.
Related content on GigaOM Pro: Three Reasons Hulu Plus is No Threat to Netflix (subscription required)