Netflix extends exclusivity deal with Universal's animated films

The streaming platform will continue having exclusive access to Universal's animated films.


Do you like streaming Universal and DreamWorks animated films on Netflix? Well, say no more.

It looks like Minions: The Rise of Gru is headed to Netflix soon.

Netflix and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) have just came to an agreement that will extend the streaming platform's already existing licensing deal. To summarize, this new partnership grants Netflix users in the United States access to all the upcoming animated films from the studio. This will include highly anticipated sequels such as Minions: The Rise of Gru, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, as well as The Bad Guys.

The aforementioned films will now head straight to Netflix following a 4-month window on Peacock, a streaming platform from NBCUniversal that was launched in 2020.

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Netflix beefs up offering to fight back against Disney

Netflix remains the go-to streaming platform for a lot of people. However, its hold on the top spot has been in jeopardy for a while now. This only became more evident following the success of Disney+ and HBO Max, among others. The former, in particular, has seen an influx of new subscribers due to its exclusive offerings.

Even though Disney+ is not yet available worldwide, it's now widely considered the biggest threat to Netflix.

This shouldn't come off as a surprise considering that Disney+ has an enormous treasure trove of TV shows and films that cater to a wide audience. Most recently, a lineup of TV shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) began streaming on Disney+. The newest of which is Loki, which is obviously also the most successful of the bunch yet after having been renewed for a second season.

In addition to this, Disney reportedly made $60 million off of the record-breaking Black Widow feature film starring Scarlett Johansson as the eponymous SHIELD operative.

While the multi-year deal to stream animated Universal films doesn't exactly give Netflix access to such films, it does boost its lineup of exclusives.

According to Netflix's director of studio licensing, Colin Morawski, the streaming giant is elated knowing that the deal allows it to expand its library of children's animated films to bring audiences "more of what they want to watch."

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Universal's new deal with Netflix comes just a week after it attempted to promote its own streaming service. It recently announced that it had moved its pay-one window for feature films to Peacock from HBO. However, this shouldn't come off as a huge surprise for anyone who has Netflix. The two have had an extensive partnership over the years that has seen Netflix develop animated shows based on existing franchises from DreamWorks and Universal.

The deal with UFEG also gives Netflix access to live-action movies from the studio for roughly four years after they premiere in theaters. Netflix will also have the right to handpick titles from the vault-like film library of Universal.

What's next for Netflix?

Universal's multi-year deal with Netflix secures plenty of must-watch films for the streaming giant.

Netflix's laundry list of competitors grows by the day. Aside from Disney+, Netflix also has to worry about a handful of other streaming platforms as well.

Amazon Prime Video is a good example. It's set to welcome the premiere of The Boys Season 3 in early 2022. HBO Max is also expected to see a huge surge in viewership following the launch of The Suicide Squad on August 6 after James Gunn's film premieres in IMAX theaters on August 5. There's also the aforementioned Peacock streaming platform, where American Horror Stories is scheduled to be available for anyone to stream starting on July 15.

As Netflix finds itself being the target of every other streaming platform, it makes sense that it's trying to divest and looking at investing in video games.

On top of the rumored video game venture, Netflix will welcome a slate of video game series' and films for the rest of 2021 and beyond, so it's not like Netflix is resting on its proverbial laurels.

Here's to hoping that these platforms continue putting out quality content. This way, we all can continue enjoying access to better movies and TV shows right from the comforts of our homes and on the go.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.