Your Kid Is About to Hate Netflix

Let's set aside the Arrested Development countdown at Netflix for a moment.

Content travels both ways on the information superhighway, and young subscribers are going to be losing a lot of programming when Netflix's licensing deal with Nickelodeon parent Viacom expires on Wednesday. SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Rugrats, and other popular children shows will be zapped from Netflix's streaming vault.

Several of Viacom's other shows will leave as well, but you won't see too many people whining that MTV's Jersey Shore is going away next week. Kids are different. They latch on to their favorite characters, and they don't mind watching the same episodes again and again.

Well, your child, niece, or grandson is going to be in for a cruel awakening after firing up Netflix late next week and not seeing Patrick Star and Angelica Pickles in their queues. Parents who figured a Netflix subscription would be an easy way to get rid of scratched-up DVD discs are about to realize that streaming deals aren't forever.

In Netflix's defense, it's been planning for this moment. Netflix struck a deal with DreamWorks Animation that will do more than just offer up the computer animation studio's popular theatrical releases. An original series based on a DreamWorks Animation movie coming out this summer will begin streaming exclusively through Netflix later this year.

Netflix also corralled family-entertainment giant Disney in a deal reportedly worth about $300 million.

There may be a lull in the short term. The DreamWorks Animation deal is gradually kicking in this year. Disney offered up some breadcrumbs of content late last year, but the real deluge of Disney magic won't kick in for a few more years.

Thankfully for Netflix, it stands alone. There is no other comparably priced service that comes even close to matching the breadth of its content, and that also applies on the children's side. However, just as adults have learned to deal with popular streaming titles that go away on Netflix, it's now time for younger viewers to learn the same thing.

There's always money in the banana stand -- but not The Krusty Krab
The tumultuous performance of Netflix shares since the summer of 2011 has caused headaches for many devoted shareholders. While the company's first-mover status is often viewed as a competitive advantage, the opportunities in streaming media have brought some new, deep-pocketed rivals looking for their piece of a growing pie. Can Netflix fend off this burgeoning competition, and will its international growth aspirations really pay off? These are must-know issues for investors, which is why The Motley Fool has released a premium report on Netflix. Inside, you'll learn about the key opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as reasons to buy or sell the stock. The report includes a full year of updates to cover critical new developments, so make sure to click here and claim a copy today.

The article Your Kid Is About to Hate Netflix originally appeared on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney and Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.