Commentary

My Dream Netflix Service

I’m all for the Netflix Just for Kids option. The 12-and-under programming section of Netflix just rolled out to the Xbox 360, and has been available on computers, as well as other gaming consoles and over-the-top devices for about a year. But Xbox is a big win since the gaming console is so popular for streaming viewing.

What interests me, as a big user of Netflix streaming, is the potential of Netflix for Kids. I’m not personally worried that my kids are going to stumble across the shows my husband and I watch without them because they know they’re not allowed to see "American Dad" and they’re not interested in "Arrested Development." But I’d really like a Netflix Not for Kids section too. I’d like Netflix to parse out the different viewing habits in my home without me having to create a separate account or profile. I want Netflix to figure out that I’ve watched the entire library of the aforementioned shows, as well as "30 Rock," and a few episodes of "Frasier," and that I like movies like "Ocean’s Eleven" and "You’ve Got Mail," so Netflix can dig into its library and offer me the next TV shows and movies that I want to watch that I’m not even aware of.

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That’s when personalization gets really interesting -- when a service is smart enough to separate out the wide range of programs a family might watch. A service works when it can tell that many of the shows are kid-friendly, and that many other are not, and then knowledgeably deliver recommendations based on that, so that my Seth MacFarlane comic sensibility is not mixed in with "My Little Pony." Could Just for Kids be a step in the right directions? Netflix has said it’s working on more refined personalization. Let’s hope so.  

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