300m of Roald Dahl’s books have been sold in 63 different languages, and in 2019 revenues were £26m. Now Netflix has bought the lot for £500m !
Netflix has a largely younger audience; it now owns all rights for all the works of the Roald Dahl Story Company and it plans to expand into games, stage shows and other live experiences. Dahl created classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, BFG and The Witches.
With 200m subscribers Netflix surely expects this Dahl franchise to hook in and attract younger audiences, especially in the face of competition from the likes of Disney Plus which launched during lockdown and already claims 100m subscribers.
Roald Dahl created works born in a time when everyone did watch TV together and read the same books. This is the target: content of universal appeal and it looks like the value of this just went up again with the Dahl acquisition.
The Roald Dahl Story Company said a “significant part” of the proceeds would be used to establish a charitable trust that would focus on “children’s health, anti-hate and anti-racism”. Staff would also “benefit financially” from the sale.
With copyright expiring in 40 years was this a good time to sell or was the offer just too good?
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Author: John Pryor Exalt IP