If we were all perfect parents, we’d never just turn on the TV for our kids without knowing what they’re watching. Instead, we’d be active participants in their media consumption, helping them decide what to watch and even co-viewing shows with them.
Thankfully, a new feature from Netflix acknowledges that we don’t always live up to that ideal. Starting this Friday, Netflix will send biweekly email recaps to subscribers who’ve set up a Kids profile on their account. The emails will include a summary of recently watched programs, a breakdown of favorite genres and topics, and suggestions on similar shows to watch next. It’ll also provide some extra activities that don’t involve screen time, such as printable coloring pages.
Of course, these moves aren’t strictly altruistic. Streaming services slowly realized that children’s programming is essential to keep subscribers from hopping between services. Disney Plus and HBO Max both launched with kids profile support, and CBS All Access added a “Kids Mode” last December before relaunching as Paramount Plus. (It turns out that Paramount Plus has more hours of children’s programming than any other service, according to data from JustWatch.)
For Netflix, sending a list of activities and recommendations is one way to engage families with the company’s programming and keep them from second-guessing whether they need the increasingly expensive service. But it also dovetails with the idea that parents should talk to kids about what they’ve been watching so they think more deeply about the content. Even if you can’t sit down at the TV with them, getting a summary in your inbox might give you a chance to catch up and ask questions later.