StoryBots, the Emmy-winning children’s media brand created by Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, has been acquired by Netflix. The overall deal terms were not disclosed, but the announcement indicated plans to significantly expand the brand and build on the characters in the educational content.
Ask The StoryBots is a Netflix original animated series that started streaming in 2016. During that time, it has grown its audience significantly year over year. The series makes use of multiple formats, including 3D, 2D, claymation, stop motion, and live action, and has featured such stars as Snoop Dogg, Edward Norton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Wanda Sykes, Ask The StoryBots answers such questions as, “Why is the sky blue?” and “How does night happen?”
Season three of Ask The StoryBots launches on Netflix this fall, with Netflix and the Spiridellis brothers planning to produce more StoryBots original programming – like series and short form specials – while also expanding the brand into new areas. They will engage creative teams, subject matter experts, and educational consultants to help ensure that the educational content they are producing for StoryBots is relevant around the world.
The deal marks Netflix’s commitment to educational programming for preschoolers, and the company has plans for a number of additional upcoming titles that have yet to be announced.
“Ask The StoryBots has a proven track record of synthesizing complex subjects into bite-sized lessons that are funny and entertaining for young kids and satisfying for parents,” said Melissa Cobb. VP of original animation. “We are thrilled to welcome Gregg and Evan into the Netflix family and look forward to building out the wonderful and whimsical StoryBots world, finding new ways to delight our growing member base of families around the world.”
“Together with Netflix, our goal is to make StoryBots the leading educational entertainment brand for connected kids and families globally,” said StoryBots co-founders Evan and Gregg Spiridellis. “We want kids from Argentina to Zambia growing up laughing and learning with StoryBots that feel native to their culture. We see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring something epically good into the world.”
The Spiridellis brothers founded JibJab Media Inc. in a garage in Brooklyn in 1999. Since then, they have produced the 2004 election parody This Land, one of the first viral video hits, and the interactive ElfYourself. In 2012, the brothers launched StoryBots online, and then parlayed that success into a Netflix Original series, Ask the StoryBots, in 2016. Since then, Ask the StoryBots has garnered 17 Emmy nominations, including five wins.