Netflix Makes Much-Needed Improvements To Its Parental Controls

  • Netflix users, especially parents, can now PIN-protect individual content.
  • Netflix will also add a new feature that will more discretely show a content's age rating, at the moment a user hits play.
  • Emphasis on parental controls seems to be in response to Disney and their launch of a new streaming service.

Up until now, Netflix’s parental controls settings were limited to simple age restrictions. Account holders were able to create a four-digit PIN that served as a new type of password. Viewers needed to provide the PIN if they wished to access content over a particular age recommendation, such as G - for little kids, PG - for older kids, PG-13 - for teens, and R, NC-17, NR, UR, and other ratings recommended for adults.

However, as of now, Netflix has extended the ability to set PIN protection on individual movies and TV shows, despite age restrictions. This means, even though Pixar's Coco is PG rated, if you think your 10-year old shouldn’t watch the movie, you can PIN protect it.

Netflix Parental Control
Netflix's new parental controls page.

On top of this new feature, Netflix will also display all these maturity levels or age restrictions at the start of each of these programs. This will enable parents to understand what content is being played right from the get-go, even if they haven’t researched it prior. Also, some parents aren’t aware of what these ratings signify. For them, the company is also devising a way to make such information more intuitive and descriptive. However, this feature will roll out in the coming months and isn’t available as of now.

Mike Hastings, writes about the reason for such changes: “We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages.” However, the reason behind the new kid-friendly policy might be due to Disney joining the world of streaming services in the coming year.

Disney’s streaming service will clearly market itself to parents as a kid-friendly streaming service. Furthermore, the streaming deal between Disney and Netflix will end at the beginning of 2019. Therefore,  it is clear that Netflix is trying to make its platform more compelling for parents and keep them from leaving.

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