Your Kids Are Probably Watching a lot of TV-MA Content on Netflix, Amazon and Other Streaming Services

There’s no doubt that a Netflix subscription, along with other streaming services, is a game changer for parents. Saving them from 150 hours of commercials a year, a “kids only” section with plenty of content to keep them occupied while you’re a little busier around the house, and more.

But data suggests that, despite parental controls on most streaming services, most kids still have easy access to a lot of adult-themed content.

On Netflix, 65% of original/exclusive TV programming is rated TV-MA, while 1% is rated G, and 8% rated PG.

A recent report by the Parents Television Council shows that on Netflix, 65% of original/exclusive TV programming is rated TV-MA, while 1% is rated G, and 8% rated PG.

“Parents who believe they’ve found a safer TV environment for their children by relying on Netflix, or other streaming services, will be shocked to learn that these devices and services generally do not protect kids from adult content,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“While most streaming services do offer plenty of content for young children, there is a severe lack of original general audience or family programming across the services. If your child is too old for ‘Bubble Guppies’ but not yet old enough for ‘Stranger Things,’ most services have little to offer, even despite the fact that programming for families could be exceptionally profitable, as animated films are for the movie industry,” said PTC Program Director Melissa Henson, the study’s author.

Netflix and Hulu, both with parental controls, do not make it difficult for a curious kid with a little technical know-how to switch over to a parent’s profile, easily accessing content more likely aimed for those over a certain age.

This reminds me of my time as a young kid in the video store, walking by all the R-rated titles, wishing I could sneak a rental by the cashier, which never worked… If only I had Netflix at the time.

Of course it begs the question of who is actually responsible here, Netflix or the parents? It does seem like if the parents don’t want their kids accessing Netflix’s normal library, they should do a better job themselves of monitoring this. Of course, maybe a little extra protection on the service wouldn’t hurt either. As the report suggests, Netflix and other services are targeting “family” subscriptions, meaning that perhaps they could focus a bit more on parental controls in order to appease this growing market share.

You can read the full report here: (PDF download)

What are your thoughts as a parent? Should streaming services add more parental controls? Let us know in the comments.