Children’s content company DHX Media (DHX Media Stock Quote, Chart TSX:DHX) has scored a deal with Apple to produce new Peanuts content for the tech company’s still-to-launch streaming service.
DHX, which last year acquired an 80 per cent controlling interest in Peanuts, will develop and produce new series, specials and shorts based on Charles M. Schulz’s iconic characters, including original short-form STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) content exclusive to Apple.
In attempt to compete with Netflix and Amazon, Apple is reportedly doling out billions to bulk up its anticipated streaming service. Pegged at $4.2 billion in original programming through to 2022, Apple has already inked a deal with Sesame Workshop for new children’s programming, along with reportedly partnering with a host of talent from M. Night Shyamalan and J.J. Abrams to Steven Spielberg.
The Halifax-based DHX will be working with its subsidiary Peanuts Worldwide on the Apple content. Peanuts Worldwide recently signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA aimed at encouraging space exploration and STEM studies.
Last May, DHX paid US$345 million to acquire the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group, which along with Peanuts included 100 per cent ownership of Strawberry Shortcake. DHX is currently the largest supplier of programming to Netflix, with which it has a history going back to 2012. Some of DHX’s other properties include Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget, Caillou and Degrassi.
DHX reported its fiscal first quarter 2019 last month, featuring revenue of $104.0 million, a 5.5 year-over-year increase, and adjusted EBITDA of $17.3 million, a 24.1 per cent drop compared to a year prior.
Shares of DHX Media closed up 2.5 per cent to $2.83 Friday.