Disney, Nick, Netflix, No?

This is an interesting story, an analyst called Todd Juenger has come out with a report about children’s programming, and one of the key points he makes, is that both Disney and Viacom (owner of Nickelodeon) should limit the amount of programming they give to Netflix. The problem as he sees it is that Netlfix, which is sans ads and allows users to cherry pick what they watch. is a threat to both companies’ existing business models:

 His advice for entertainment companies is to be cautious about how much kids programming they make available to the online video streaming provider and in which windows. “We remain firm in our belief Viacom and Walt Disney should limit their content availability on Netflix,” Juenger wrote.

As big a no-brainer as it is, it’s still amazing to see this kind of recommendation being made. Yes, it is a threat to the existing business model, but it also represents opportunities for new revenue streams, or even attracting new audiences to existing properties. I can tell you right now that if Avatar: The Last Airbender wasn’t on Netflix, there is only a slim chance that I would have even tried to watch it. Now that I have, I plan on buying all the DVDs. Yay new revenue for Viacom!

Instead we get a recommendation to partition content into individual companies’ services, not unlike Disney’s Keychest. Hardly a practical solution. I’m old enough to know that the internet didn’t really start firing on all cylinders until people discovered a world outside the walled garden that was AOL. Online viewing should not be going in the opposite direction.

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