Netflix scoops DreamWorks streaming deal

Netflix has won a deal to stream movies from DreamWorks Animation – the first time a major studio has chosen web streaming over pay TV.

According to the New York Times, the deal could be worth as much as $30 million per movie for DreamWorks.

Netflix had to beat off present incumbent HBO – believed to have been paying license fees of about $20 million per picture – to win the deal.

Under the agreement, Netflix will start offering exclusive access to DreamWorks movies in 2013, offering titles including Shrek, Antz and Kung Fu Panda.

The first movies to be released, says the New York Times, will be a prehistoric comedy called The Croods; Turbo, about a garden snail; and  an adaptation of Rocky and Bullwinkle characters called Peabody & Sherman.

Netflix will also gain the streaming rights to DreamWorks telecision specials.

The deal will be a welcome boost for Netflix, which has been struggling in the face of increasing competition from the likes of Amazon and even Wal-Mart.

It’s lost a large number of customers – as many as a million, according to some reports – following a price hike in July and the spin-off of its DVD division. The company’s share price has halved over the last two months.