By Liana B. Baker
(Reuters) – Netflix is ramping up its original programming lineup with four new television series and one miniseries from Disney’s Marvel unit, known for its success with “The Avengers” franchise based on super hero comic books.
This is latest bid by the Internet movie and TV show streaming service to lure subscribers with original programming. Its success with series such as political satire “House of Cards” and dark prison comedy “Orange is the New Black” helped its customer base rise to 31.1 million U.S. streaming subscribers last quarter.
The deal with Marvel will start in 2015, the companies said in a press release and last “multiple years.” Each of the four series will focus on Marvel characters, “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones”, “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.”
Netflix and Marvel were unavailable for comment on financial details on Thursday.
Marvel has committed to a minimum of four 13-episode series and has also agreed to make a mini-series called “The Defenders.”
The series will be produced by Marvel Television and ABC Television Studios. Marvel currently produces a show called “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” for ABC.
Netflix has said it will double investments in original programming in 2014, when it will air second seasons of both “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Spending on original shows is expected to remain below 10 percent of its global content expenses.
This is Disney’s second high profile tie-up with Netflix. Last December, Disney became the first major studio to choose Netflix over cable TV networks for a large-scale movie licensing deal that will bring live and animated Disney, Pixar, Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm movies to the service starting in 2016.
Netflix shares rose $3.37 or 1 percent to $339.00 per share, while Disney shares fell 49 cents or 0.7 percent to $68.48 per share.