Every Major Acquisition In Netflix’s History
With merger and acquisition mania still gripping Hollywood, we thought we’d look back at netflix’s history in the space of acquiring companies or assets. Ted Sarandos famously said, “We’ve always been builders instead of buyers,” but does it hold up? Let’s dive in.
Like some of our other extensive lists, such as our comprehensive deal list, this list will be updated over time, so keep it bookmarked.
We’re going to split up netflix’s acquisitions into three categories. Content acquisitions, gaming acquisitions, and everything else.
Tabla de contenidos
This category is no doubt the most exciting to consumers. Content is the name of the game for streaming services, and companies like Walt Disney and Amazon have beefed up their libraries and IP with their acquisitions of 20th Century Fox and MGM, respectively. It’s also the most disappointing for netflix so far, in our opinion.
While we could get into semantics about what specifically counts as content acquisition, we’re specifically talking about IP or studios bought into netflix rather than just acquiring licenses to stream specific content or exclusive distributions.
Acquired in: August 2017
Mark Millar is a renowned Scottish comic book writer who cut his teeth at the likes of DC and Marvel. In 2004, Millar started his own publisher creating titles like Kick-Ass and Kingsman which have been successfully adapted for the big screen.
In its acquisition, netflix acquired the publisher and the rights to produce new TV and movies.
There’s plenty more on the way too as we look into via our Millarworld preview.
Date Acquired: May 2019
On the kid’s front, netflix picked up the StoryBots franchise from JibJab Bros. Studios and signed up Evan and Gregg Spiridellis to overall deals at the service back in May 2019.
Since the acquisition, A StoryBots Space Adventure and StoryBots: Laugh, Learn, Sing have been released onto the service.
The Roald Dahl Story Company
Acquired in: September 2021
Roald Dahl is the late British novelist who wrote books primarily aimed at children and have sold a quarter a billion copies worldwide. netflix already had a pact with The Roald Dahl Story Company but tied the knot in September 2021.
According to the press release, the deal means Netflix will have publishing rights to all of the back catalog and seeks a “the creation of a unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre, consumer products and more.”
Netflix Gaming Acquisitions
Netflix’s gaming ambitions at the time of publishing are still yet to be fully realized. A crack team has been put together but Netflix has already made two early movies in the space as we’ll come onto in a second.
Night School Studio LLC
Acquired in: September 2021
The first major acquisition for Netflix games came a couple months before games even were available on the service. Night School Studio is the first gaming studio to come under Netflix’s umbrella. They’re known for OXENFREE.
According to the Night School Studio press release, they sold to Netflix because the service “gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people.”
Acquired in: March 2022
Netflix will be picking up mobile game studio Next Games for 65 million euros. The Finnish studio has worked with Netflix before. They notably worked on and released Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales.
Other Netflix Acquisitions
Acquired in: November 2021
Scanline VFX, established in 1989, is a VFX company with offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, London, Munich, Stuttgart, and Seoul.
The VFX studio has worked on a number of Netlfix projects up until the acquisition including Cowboy Bebop, Blood Red Sky, The Adam Project and Stranger Things season 4.
Acquired in: October 2018
Netflix mostly leases studio space around the globe but it opted to purchase the studio back in 2018. The studio has nine sound stages, production offices, and a backlot.
According to a further report from Variety, Netflix picked up the studio for $30 million which is around 3 times less than what it cost to build.
Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre
Acquired in: May 2020
First opened in 1922, Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre has a unique part in Los Angeles and indeed Hollywood history.
Netflix notably holds many of its TV and movie premieres at the Egyptian Theatre since its acquisition such as the premiere for Locke & Key season 2.
Netflix’s head of films at the time of the acquisition announcement said:
“We’re honored to partner with the American Cinematheque to preserve the theater’s storied legacy and continue providing remarkable film experiences for audiences. We look forward to expanding programming at the theater in ways that will benefit both cinema lovers and the community.”
This is the second theatre in the United States Netflix has a vested interest in. It also secured a long-term lease deal for New York’s Paris Theatre.
What should Netflix acquire next? Let us know in the comments or alternatively read one industry expert’s opinions on what to acquire next here.