Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Don’t ask Netflix subscribers: The video service removed Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Blue’s Clues and other animated Nickeolodeon fare from its streaming library this week as its licensing agreement with Viacom is expiring. Also gone are shows like iCarly, Teen Mom, Jersey Shore and the Sarah Silverman Show.
Netflix had announced in April that it wasn’t going to renew its broad licensing deal with Viacom. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said at the time that his company was in talks with Viacom to possibly strike separate deals for specific shows. A Netflix spokesperson told us Thursday that the company doesn’t have any news to share on that front.
Netflix’s previous deal with Viacom included titles from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, VH1, Logo and Spike. In a position paper on the future of his company, Hastings said in April that Netflix was using a whole lot of data to evaluate these kinds of deals before deciding to renew them:
“We might pay, for example, $200,000 for a 4 year exclusive subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) license for a given title. At the time of renewal, we evaluate how much the title has been viewed as well as member rating feedback to determine how much we are willing to pay. How many similar titles we have is also a consideration.”
Netflix doesn’t share any of its ratings with the outside world, but the company has made it clear in the past that kids are a very important audience, which even deserved a dedicated UI to further encourage their viewing. And the company recently added a bunch of additional kids content from Disney Junior to its service.
As for the Viacom fare, it’s possible that there may be hope for Dora or any of the other more popular kids shows to return to the service sooner or later. Fans of Teen Mom on the other hand may have to look elsewhere.
This story was updated at 5:45 pm with a mention of Netflix’s new Disney content.
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