Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has signed a deal with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) to produce several multi-year shows starring Marvel superheroes, reports Joe Flint for the LA Times. This is good news for Marvel, which is always looking for ways to use its intellectual property beyond traditional comic books, but it’s even better news for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), which has made original content one of the cornerstones of its business model.

Netflix

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has already proven that it can deliver highbrow television with House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Orange is the New Black. The great thing about the Marvel deal is that it lets Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) reach a different demographic by producing action mini-series with some lesser known superheroes including Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. The company will also produce a show for Daredevil, a long-time favorite among comic book fans that has been avoided by mainstream outlets after the disastrous film starring Ben Affleck.

Marvel has already started moving into television

After years of successful movies (the X-Men films, Iron Man, The Avengers, and more), Marvel has already started moving into television with the new show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which has gotten mixed reviews. If the Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) series are successful they will popularize lesser-known characters, drive merchandise sales, help create buzz for upcoming movies (with plenty of opportunities for cross-promotion), and open the door to new Netflix shows with other characters.

Netflix is currently working on the second season of House of Cards and is already considering a third, so fans of more serious drama don’t need to worry that they’re going to be left behind. If anything, the Marvel deal shows that Netflix is serious about becoming one of the premier producers of original content, not just another digital platform.

Netflix is the biggest player in a growing field

Investors have warmed to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) over the last year, and Baird analysts, to take one example recently upgraded Netflix to Outperform, noting that the company’s original content will give it long-term staying power and that we are still at the beginning of the transition from traditional broadcasting to digital streaming. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the biggest player in a growing field, and it is working hard to give itself advantages that will be hard to duplicate when serious rivals do start to show up.