Why Netflix's Approach to Kids' Content is One Other Platforms Should Learn From
Netflix is something a lot of us now use as a main hub for our TV entertainment. Not only does it have plenty to offer in terms of stuff to binge watch once the kids are in bed, but it has also got a huge library of programs and movies for children of all ages, which you can get an idea of at netflixguides.com.
One of the best things about Netflix when it comes to kids, however, is the fact it has a kids' mode. While lots of other platforms like YouTube allow you to block certain content that is unsuitable for kids, Netflix takes a different approach. As well as blocking what you don't want them to see, in the kids' mode it shows things specifically targeted at their age range, and in an interface, they can use themselves to pick out what they want to watch.
How Do You Set Up the Netflix Kids' Mode?
The kids' mode comes up when you use Netflix using a profile you have created for a child. If you are using the same profile on Netflix for your whole family, you will probably see kids' shows mixed in with everything else, which is fine if your kids are so young that they can't work the system themselves and you have to pick their shows for them, but for older children it is far better to create a kids' profile.
You can choose the age range you want (the kids' mode is aimed at children under 12 but you can choose a 'teens and under' option too, which will include things like Nickelodeon shows aimed at younger teenagers).
An added benefit of doing this is that the recommendations for children’s' programming will no longer appear in your own profile so you can find stuff you want faster without random programming for pre-schoolers in the mix!
Kids' mode works on most of the platforms you can access Netflix through, including games consoles and Apple TV.
Treating Kids as Proper Users
One of the great things about this is that Netflix treats kids as proper customers. It makes recommendations based on the things they have watched, gives them an interface they can learn to use easily and gives them plenty of freedom where many other platforms just cut out adult content and do little else to make children feel like they are valued users.
The adult content you don't want kids to see is one side of the coin, but just because something doesn't contain adult content doesn't mean it is what kids want to watch – shows that are clean of anything inappropriate for kids but made for adults can still be pretty boring for them. This is a difference Netflix understands, so kids see things actually made for them, rather than basically anything that hasn't been flagged as adult. This is easier and far more fun for them.
It will be interesting to see if more services begin to adopt this approach of providing child-friendly versions of interfaces and apps, that allow kids to use them for themselves and familiarize themselves with using online platforms from a young age.