Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Netflix acquires Roald Dahl Story Company

Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Netflix said Wednesday that it's acquiring the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC), the UK-based company that owns and manages the rights of the storied works from the late British author Roald Dahl. Deal terms weren't disclosed.

Why it matters: It's likely one of Netflix's largest content acquisitions. Netflix typically licenses programming for its streaming service, instead of buying the rights outright.

  • Dahl, who died in 1990, created some of the most popular children's stories, selling 300 million books worldwide.

In a statement, the streaming giant says it's acquiring the rights to Dahl's classics, like "Matilda," "Willy Wonka" and more "to bring some of the world's most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways."

  • It vowed to stay "committed to maintaining their unique spirit and their universal themes of surprise and kindness, while also sprinkling some fresh magic into the mix."

Between the lines: Netflix says the deal builds on an existing partnership between the two companies. The streaming giant is working on a new TV series adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and an adaptation of Matilda The Musical with RDSC.

  • "These projects opened our eyes to a much more ambitious venture – the creation of a unique universe across animated and live action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theatre, consumer products and more," the company says.

Be smart: Netflix's business model has long relied on licensing fan-favorite franchises from traditional content companies like Disney, Comcast/NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS.

  • But as those companies start to build their own streaming services, Netflix has had to begin investing in producing its own content. To-date, it's purchased very little content outright, opting to spend billions of dollars mostly to produce its own, which is what makes this deal unique.

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