Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

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Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids "patches" (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.

Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.


Image from Twitter

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Netflix said the testing for patches has ended and the feature will not be implemented.
"We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."
During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into "binge watchers" through the patch program.

Hey @netflix! If this becomes a thing, my kids are not going to be allowed to watch Netflix any more. We don't need you to drive engagement for them to *watch more TV*. https://t.co/Eb9sEBy3oV - aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018


@netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste time in front of the television. - The Ape of God (@simiadei) March 12, 2018

Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a "more interactive experience" and to "expand the storytelling world for the show."

Users who were part of Netflix's test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.

Article Link: Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV
 

csurfr

macrumors 68020
Dec 7, 2016
2,310
1,747
Seattle, WA
I still think this is no different than Xbox "Achievements" or PS4 "Trophies". I'm not advocating for or against it, just saying that they are essentially the same thing.

Ultimately this falls on the parents, not Netflix, Microsoft, or Sony.
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
978
3,646
These parents complain as though they don't have control over their children's content. If their kids aren't watching 100 hours of shows per week on Netflix, they're watching 100 hours of videos per week on YouTube.
Perhaps you shouldn't offer parenting advice as an obvious non-parent. It might not be quite as simple as you assume with your zero experience.
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
978
3,646
I still think this is no different than Xbox "Achievements" or PS4 "Trophies". I'm not advocating for or against it, just saying that they are essentially the same thing.

Ultimately this falls on the parents, not Netflix, Microsoft, or Sony.
Exactly and parents told Netflix they would take their money elsewhere if they wanted to gamify children watching TV and they won.

Voting with your wallet works wonders for getting products you want.
 
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Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,435
Silicon Valley, CA
These parents complain as though they don't have control over their children's content. If their kids aren't watching 100 hours of shows per week on Netflix, they're watching 100 hours of videos per week on YouTube.
Doesn't matter. Giving someone a digital reward to be sedentary is incredibly irresponsible and the blowback would be HUGE against Netflix. This was a business decision, and a correct one.
[doublepost=1521072844][/doublepost]
I still think this is no different than Xbox "Achievements" or PS4 "Trophies". I'm not advocating for or against it, just saying that they are essentially the same thing.

Ultimately this falls on the parents, not Netflix, Microsoft, or Sony.
The difference is that this is gamifying TV watching rather than, you know, GAMING.
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,972
5,203
Toronto, Canada
Doesn't matter. Giving someone a digital reward to be sedentary is incredibly irresponsible and the blowback would be HUGE against Netflix. This was a business decision, and a correct one.
[doublepost=1521072844][/doublepost]

The difference is that this is gamifying TV watching rather than, you know, GAMING.
If only they could gamify homework...

"ACCOMPLISHMENT: Studied 5 days in a row"
 

Pman17

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2011
297
200
Galveston, TX
I still think this is no different than Xbox "Achievements" or PS4 "Trophies". I'm not advocating for or against it, just saying that they are essentially the same thing.
At least with video games you're exercising your brain in solving puzzles, acting fast, and planning strategies. Achievements with Netflix is kinda dumb, especially when you can just let your tv go while you run errands to cheat your way. Maybe they should do something social with it tough, like recommendations on what your friends are watching.
 

Guidonculous

macrumors member
Dec 3, 2015
37
199
I love the parents claiming anyone who isn’t opposed to this can’t be a parent.
Perhaps you shouldn't offer parenting advice as an obvious non-parent. It might not be quite as simple as you assume with your zero experience.
Hmm, perhaps your kids will pick up on your behavior of jumping to bizarre conclusions.

If you want to say that gamifying tv would make your life more difficult as a parent, please do so as such information is valuable, but your comment looks extremely childish the way you presented it.
 

jhromeror

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2011
23
3
I still think this is no different than Xbox "Achievements" or PS4 "Trophies". I'm not advocating for or against it, just saying that they are essentially the same thing.

Ultimately this falls on the parents, not Netflix, Microsoft, or Sony.
It is not the same. With games there is some skill involved and what Netflix did is just wrong! Giving badges for doing absolutely nothing! This is how close that company is trying to turn everyone into zombies. As parents we should be able to allocate screen time for different uses in our kids devices. I like what Microsoft does. I get a weekly report of how much time my kids spend on xbox or PC, web sites, apps, etc. I would love to get usage data from their kindle or apple devices.

Apple has some nice Parental Controls, but nothing where I can limit App time per category.
 

Asarien

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2015
329
3,144
Oakland, CA
Perhaps you shouldn't offer parenting advice as an obvious non-parent. It might not be quite as simple as you assume with your zero experience.
You misunderstand me.

For one, I will never make the mistake of having children, but more importantly, I’m a huge advocate of cooperations taking responsibility over their products. I want more oversight and accountability for mega companies.

Either way, children will end up watching dozens of hours of nonsense, as the billions of views on YouTube have proven.
 
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Anson_431

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2016
97
257
I love the parents claiming anyone who isn’t opposed to this can’t be a parent.


Hmm, perhaps your kids will pick up on your behavior of jumping to bizarre conclusions.

If you want to say that gamifying tv would make your life more difficult as a parent, please do so as such information is valuable, but your comment looks extremely childish the way you presented it.
In a way I think there's two sides for this whole patches thing. I mean, Netflix obviously underestimated the potential backlash from users based on the nature of the function, but then on the other hand, I think parents also have the responsibility to teach their kids to use such media appropriately.

Cuz come on, we're living in a digital age that these things have become a must to be taught to the new generation.
 

TheColtr

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2014
376
287
California
I find the lack of parental control these days disturbing. Do parents think they aren’t in control anymore?

Hey parents, wake up and take that kids iPad away, why the heck do they have one anyways? If youre too lazy to watch and play with your own child then you shouldn’t have one. Just because you popped it out doesn’t mean you’re done raising it.
 
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thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,346
4,900
known but velocity indeterminate
good.
[doublepost=1521084451][/doublepost]
I find the lack of parental control these days disturbing. Do parents think they aren’t in control anymore?

Hey parents, wake up and take that kids iPad away, why the heck do they have one anyways? If youre too lazy to watch and play with your own child then you shouldn’t have one. Just because you popped it out doesn’t mean you’re done raising it.
My young relatives have to use devices for homework. These days there are apps for math, calendar apps to know what each night's homework is, and things get "turned in" via google docs. My (parent) relatives tell me that there's a balancing act between locking the devices down but still having enough privileges to be productive as well. Each device is different. You need to provide access to the web to research homework projects but you don't want them to have free reign and go wherever they want. With time limits you want them to have enough time to do homework but not spend it all on minecraft every time they turn away. Network devices can limit internet connectivity time across multiple devices but can't manage screen time on local apps (minecraft) or deal with multi-user devices (shared Apple TV or Chromecast). Given how portable all these devices are now (iPads and chrome books) it's not enough to just have the kid computers in a public area. They'll walk in another room or even just sit on a couch with the device away from the parent. In any case, I have empathy for parents, I can see why better systemic controls would be desired. A company like Apple that controls entire ecosystems (phone, tablet, computers, TV) could do a lot on this front by linking iCloud across the devices and limiting time spend by type of app or specific app, whitelisting specific sites, etc... and manage it all from the designated parent accounts in family sharing via the iCloud web interface or an app on the parent's device. Even with shared devices like Apple TV they could "unlock" via another device so parents can identify themselves by watch or phone vs kids using their device or ending up in the "guest" block of time that gets limited per day. This type of thing would allow parents to allow one hour of TV time and/or game time but unlimited homework app time and access to wikipedia/britanica online/whatever or even have something like the request feature for apps that works with web sites too so parents can preview and allow/deny web sites on their own device.

tl;dr I'm not going to call parents lazy, I think there are great opportunities here for a business that recognizes technology is fully integrated into our lives, including kids, but parents may want to systemically control what they do with it.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,042
14,856
Central U.S.
Good. Usually I try to say something insightful or thought provoking, but this was stupid and I hated it and I’m glad it’s dead.
 

WBRacing

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2012
1,248
2,808
UK
Perhaps you shouldn't offer parenting advice as an obvious non-parent. It might not be quite as simple as you assume with your zero experience.
Wow, just wow. Asarien has clearly touched a nerve there. Nice wild assumption. Good to know also that you think that only parents are allowed to have an opinion .

If you don't find it so easy then maybe seek assistance/guidance, rather than shouting down others.
 
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