Netflix Nixes Feature That Gave Patches to Kids for Watching TV

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    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
  2. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2011
    how about you make the patch a weekly or monthly collectible? :/
  3. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, 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.
  4. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
  5. csurfr macrumors 68020

    Dec 7, 2016
    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.
  6. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    Did Netflix really think there wouldn't be major backlash from parents in response to this?
  7. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    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.
  8. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    Earning rewards for watching the kind of content available on Netflix is like earning rewards for every bag of Cheetos you eat.
  9. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    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.
  10. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Seriously. Preventing a couch potato is hard enough, them adding addictive incentives like that makes it even harder.
  11. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2018 ---
    The difference is that this is gamifying TV watching rather than, you know, GAMING.
  12. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    If only they could gamify homework...

    "ACCOMPLISHMENT: Studied 5 days in a row"
  13. Pman17 macrumors regular


    Mar 12, 2011
    Galveston, TX
    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.
  14. Guidonculous macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2015
    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.
  15. jhromeror macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2011
    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.
  16. Asarien, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

    Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    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.
  17. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    "Sit back, watch this, be rewarded" is literally an episode of Black Mirror.
  18. Anson_431 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2016
    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.
  19. TheColtr macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2014
    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.
  20. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816


    Aug 25, 2004
    Glendale, California, USA
    They should instead have exclusive shows for kids who wear activity trackers and get outdoors to play. Once that tracking data is uploaded, they get to watch new content at a time the parents pre-specify
  21. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2018 ---
    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.
  22. Regbial macrumors 6502


    Jul 10, 2010
    I know PLENTY of parents who could REALLY use the advice of some non-parents.
  23. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    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.
  24. WBRacing macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2012
    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.
  25. jeremyhu macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2010
    It is. It's called "grades". Do better, and you score better. Doesn't seem to always work though...

Share This Page