The battle for children’s attention spans continues with an additional feature added to Netflix. This new feature is reminiscent of the app TikTok. TikTok has become wildly popular in the past year as a new source of entertainment due to its short video clips. Netflix appears to be looking for ways to emulate this design for the streaming service. The application within Netflix is called Kids Clips, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Kids Clips takes short clips from the catalogue of existing kids’ programming. Children may seem like an untapped demographic, but that is for good reason. Netflix’s bid to attract more children to the site may have the same effect as YouTube and TikTok such as limiting attention spans even further. Kids Clips will appear on the iOS app this week and reaction to the service will determine if the service will continue the feature.
It is hard not to think that Netflix is trying to reinvent the wheel with this rollout. Already Netflix has a similar feature for adult programming. Clips on certain programs will start playing on selected content whether viewers want them to or not. Netflix seems to be concerned with bombarding subscribers with content constantly. Children will have access to 10 to 20 clips at any given time. Netflix certainly is attempting to indoctrinate children at an early age.
From a business standpoint, this makes sense for one of the original streaming content providers. Netflix was one of the first streaming services, but now there are almost too many to choose from. Hulu and Amazon Prime have a large library of content to choose from. But there are specific content providers that cater especially to children. Disney+ is, of course, enjoyed by all ages. There seems to be no stopping the current rollout of Star Wars properties. That in addition to superhero franchises makes Disney+ a must for any household. Disney+ offers early releases for films in the theaters. Though these are paid options on top of the subscription, it may be worth it to parents who can’t make it to the theater. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be available to stream on November 12th.
It must occur to Netflix that Disney is a competitor for children’s eyes. This is not the only controversial action Netflix has taken in the past. The service has been notorious for its brutal view regarding its original shows. As a platform that gains money from subscribers, Netflix has been known to viciously cancel shows after three seasons. The logic appears to be that new subscribers will be attracted by new content. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was canceled after four seasons, although she has found new life on Riverdale. The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has voiced concerns over her show not being popular enough to survive. While The Witcher appears to be the new Game of Thrones to many fans – maybe even better – there is always the possibility that Netflix may change their minds. Shows seem to have to be smashing successes to live on past three or four seasons. With this new rollout for Kids Clips, it’s no wonder that creators are worried.