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Netflix reduces ad viewing by kids

News, 05 September 2016

SEATTLE/LONDON: Generations of youngsters have grown up watching ads aired during children's TV shows, but new research suggests that streaming services like Netflix are actually cutting the number of ads children are exposed to.

According to a new study from Exstreamist, an entertainment news site, Netflix and other streaming services keep children from viewing around 150 hours of commercials a year.

The study reached this conclusion after finding that children and teenagers aged two to 18 spend an average of 1.8 hours a day using streaming services, which equates to about 650 hours of content per year.

By comparing the 1.8 hours a day of streamed viewing with Nielsen's estimate that there are 14 minutes of ad breaks in every hour of standard TV viewing, the study found children would save the equivalent of six days, or 150 hours, of commercial advertising time each year.

With less children's viewing time taken up with ads, Exstreamist went on to argue that this trend could deliver tangible benefits, such as less exposure to ads that promote sugary and unhealthy food.

"Think about how much money this saves you as a parent as well," the report added. "While there's no denying an occasional advertisement will sneak through and convince a young, impressionable mind that they need their folks to buy them something, a Netfix subscription ends up paying for itself hundreds of times over if it prevents a few of those expensive toy purchases."

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Netflix has announced that it is pushing into original children's programming in the UK and Germany, the Telegraph reported.

The company has reached an agreement with the BBC and German public service broadcaster ZDF to fund The Worst Witch fantasy series, which is based on the children's books by Jill Murphy.

In addition, Netflix plans to fund an original British children's series, currently called Untitled Horse Mystery Project, a coming-of-age drama that will premiere on Netflix in 2017.

The initiative taps into the growing popularity of on-demand TV in UK, which has been particularly pronounced in households with children.

Data sourced from Exstreamist, Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff