Netflix’s hatred of ads is one of its core philosophies.
Earlier this year, we found out that Netflix’s lack of ads cuts out over six days of commercials from your life for the average subscriber, compared to cable TV.
Now Exstreamist has taken a look specifically at how Netflix affects children. They estimated that Netflix saves children 150 hours of commercials per year (6.25 days).
Here’s how they figured it out:
- They compiled academic research and found that the average child between ages 2 and 18 streams about 1.8 hours per day of content from Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other online services.
- This means kids stream 650 hours per year, on average.
- Then they turned to Nielsen, which said that every hour of TV contained over 14 minutes of ads, on average (broadcast and cable). Note: this data is from 2014.
- That means that if a child had his or her streaming time replaced with TV time, they would pick up roughly 150 hours of commercials.
Here is a chart put together by Exstreamist that shows children’s streaming habits:
Children’s programming has become a major focus for “over-the-top” players like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and HBO. Netflix will launch 35 kids and family originals by the end of 2016, according to the company. Amazon doesn’t have quite the volume, but has produced as many original kids shows as it has comedies (and twice the number of dramas). HBO also made headlines late last year when it struck a deal for iconic show “Sesame Street.”
Why have these companies been making such big investments?
One reason is that their ad-free nature can prove an advantage. The difference between children’s programming with ads and without can be immediately apparent, when requests for the latest sugary cereal suddenly slow down.
This fact means that Netflix, Amazon, and their no-commercial rivals could derive an even greater benefit for their lack of advertising in children’s programming than in other types. Hulu even streams all its children’s programming ad-free, even on tiers that normally include ads. Adults might be annoyed by ads, but children are moulded by them.
“We know one of the benefits of an ecosystem like Netflix is its lack of advertising,” Howard Shimmel, a chief research officer at Time Warner, told Bloomberg last year. “Consumers are being trained there are places they can go to avoid ads.”
But there could be another indirect result. Parents are being trained not to have to deal with their children’s fascination with the latest toy that’s being hawked on TV.