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Netflix’s Animated Double-Down

Producer Jed Schlanger and actor Karl Urban
Producer Jed Schlanger and actor Karl Urban at the premiere of Netflix's The Sea Beast. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Julia Alexander
July 24, 2022

In the entertainment business, there are generally two types of acquisitions: the mega-deals, like Discovery and WarnerMedia, that bring the market to a halt and invite endless speculation and redefine the landscape, at least momentarily; and then there are the smaller deals that barely register for years until their output can be deemed a success or failure. Within the last week, however, two smaller deals were announced that seem to eminently herald major strategic initiatives for the general streaming economy. Netflix and Nintendo’s recent acquisitions of Animal Logic and Dynamo, respectively, suggest the latest iteration of the entertainment industry’s optimism about the power of animation to drive subscriptions and revenue.

Demand for animated content has grown consistently over the last several years, making up just over 7 percent of the total global demand share for content in 2020, according to research firm Parrot Analytics, where I work as director of strategy. On top of that, demand for adult-oriented animation and adult-oriented anime has consistently grown, with a projected global market share of $43.73 billion by 2028, according to global marketing research firm Brand Essence.