Los Gatos-based Netflix announced today that they've just signed a deal with Dreamworks Animation for 300 hours of new original content based on Dreamworks characters. So, you can expect some spinoffs of Shrek, The Croods, Madagascar, and the rest to start appearing exclusively on Netflix in the coming years.

Dreamworks, which is based down in Glendale but has about 600 employees in the Bay Area in their new Redwood City campus, has worked with Netflix already on the kids show Turbo, based on the movie, which is set to premiere July 17.

The content deal is another big move for Netflix toward becoming a new model for on-demand streaming TV. The company, as we all know, has been trying to get out of the movies-by-mail business, even though that is still popular and many of us do not yet have devices attached to our TVs that are internet-enabled and allow us to play Netflix content, and even though the service requires a lot of bandwidth, and occasionally still implodes. The company still sees the future as lying in that streaming business, and is producing its own content now, like the recent revamp of Arrested Development, in order to gain respect and become a go-to source for streaming.

The deal also fills a hole for Netflix left by Nickelodeon, after the company did not renew a contract with Nickelodeon parent Viacom, which in turn took its children's program to Amazon streaming.

[SF Business Times]