TV Analyst: Kids Love Netflix, And Disney Should Break Them Of That Nasty Habit

from the future-proof dept

The broadest, most obvious trend in media consumption is the shift to an on-demand world, where content is available when you want it on whatever device you’re using. In the day-to-day, this gets lost behind neverending squabbles about licensing, and severely limited offerings accompanied by bold statements about embracing technology—but in the long run, what’s happening couldn’t be any more clear. Any long-term strategy for relevance and success in the world of media has to embrace that momentum by building new business models around such distribution schemes, while gracefully dismantling the business models that rely on dying habits and the limitations of antiquated technology.

Or, you can attempt to reshape the cultural norms of future generations by going to the source: kids. At least that’s what analyst Todd Juenger suggests in a recent report about children’s programming on Netflix. Juenger conducted a focus group with mothers and discovered that they really like Netflix as a source of entertainment for their kids, especially since they can put it on whenever they want—and that kids are growing accustomed this. To hear Juenger talk about it, you’d think this was both surprising and bad (it’s neither). His advice to the providers of children’s programming? Stop this trend immediately:

His advice for entertainment companies is to be cautious about how much kids programming they make available to the online video streaming provider and in which windows. “We remain firm in our belief Viacom and Walt Disney should limit their content availability on Netflix,” Juenger wrote.

“Moms are increasingly directing their kids to alternative viewing modes for content control, commercial avoidance and time management,” Juenger summarized the findings. “The moms we talked to originally subscribed to Netflix for themselves, but have recognized the dwindling supply of content for adults and are now using the service primarily for their kids…The content selection is perceived to be significantly better for kids than for adults, and the lack of commercials and ability to control the viewing choices are seen as positives.”

According to the analyst, the focus groups described children as device agnostic, “happily watching on TV sets, tablets, computers, even phones, with indifference.” The result: “Our concern regarding Viacom and Disney’s kids’ networks has been reinforced,” Juenger said. “Viacom and Disney should do everything in their power to steer viewership toward modes with the best long-term economics, namely traditional TV and emerging forms of TV Everywhere VOD.”

Yes, he’s confirmed that the “lack of commercials and ability to control the viewing choices are seen as positives”, in case anyone in Hollywood was still clinging to the hope that consumers would grow to hate those things. And yes, kids are “happily watching” on a variety of devices, and we can’t have that, can we? Some might respond to the observation of a clear consumer preference in young children by trying to embrace that change early (if anything Hollywood does with technology can be called “early” at this point) but Juenger thinks they’re better off trying to hold back the tide, or at least redirect it into their proprietary canals.

The funniest part is that suggesting Disney and Viacom should try to “steer viewership” is appealing to the very power such companies are losing. Big media empires don’t get to “steer viewership” the way they used to, and that’s exactly why these new distribution methods represent a threat to them. Juenger is suggesting they keep the sinking ship afloat by tying it to… itself. That’s not going to work.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: disney, netflix, viacom

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “TV Analyst: Kids Love Netflix, And Disney Should Break Them Of That Nasty Habit”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Wow doesn’t begin to cover how clueless this advice is. Suppose both Viacom and Disney eliminate all their on-demand offerings. That would still leave dozens of other sources of online content. It isn’t the oligopoly situation big media is used to. If one source goes away, two more will pop up in its place.

I see exactly the phenomenon described in the article happening in our family. The variety of programming gives parents plenty of choices, and there is some very good content to choose from. There are no commercials for sugared breakfast cereal or toys. The content is good enough to be the basis of a lot of family discussions.

The one thing I have noticed is the fierce brand loyalty the kids and the whole family develop to the shows they watch. There is a ton of merchandise being sold for even minor programs. If Disney wants to cut itself off from the kids market, I can’t think of a more effective method than the one that Juenger recommends.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: A Better Family Breakfast (to fogbugzd, #22)

I was reading Nikki and David Goldbeck, _The Supermarket Handbook_, 1973. This is partly a shopper’s guide, and partly a cookbook, with recipes for alternatives for all the more commercial foods, eg. make your own lemonade instead of soda pop.

One interesting item is what Nikki Goldbeck called The Kibbutz Meal, a kind of cold smorgasbord for breakfast, with almost no cooking required. You take about twenty assorted pots and jars and bowls, representing all major food groups, out of the refrigerator, and put them on the table, and let everyone help themselves. Afterwards, you put everything back in the refrigerator again, and use it for supper, or for breakfast the next day. Eggs are present in the form of hard-boiled eggs (cooked in bulk in advance, and kept in the refrigerator), and there’s an assortment of salad vegetables, various dairy products, preserved fish (sardines, herring, etc.), various kinds of bread, and presumably you could add cold cuts if you liked. There is a discard bowl for eggshells, rinds, etc., simplifying clean-up. If some of the vegetables start looking a bit “fatigued,” you pull them, and use them for soup or stew instead. Obviously, this system is a fussy eater’s delight.

Advertisers and television executives would hate The Kibbutz Meal. It’s completely unbranded.

Christopher (profile) says:

Re: Idiot

Good point. Many parents try to limit how much TV their children watch (I personally think it’s a bad idea to try to do that, it just makes your kids resent you) so they do not get fat (though that is more coming from lack of exercise and high-calorie intake).

Netflix’s online portion gives parents a lot of control over their children’s watching.

ebilrawkscientist (profile) says:

Viacom & Disney?

Video & On-Demand is here to stay. If Mister Big Content doesn’t like it; then its time for Mister Big Content to get out of the content provider business.

We the people decide what we want to watch and when. Not you.

If you are unwilling to adapt then your business will die off. Its that simple.

Time to move over and let the next generation blaze a new trail.

People first; shareholders and corporations dead last.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Viacom & Disney?

People first; shareholders and corporations dead last.

Oh, now there’s a brilliant business model… You had it almost perfectly worked out then you say something that completely opposes what you had correct.

Shareholders first, last, and every point in between.

That kind of necessitates that you stay in business, yeah? Which means you have to know what people want and sell it to them. Not because you give a damn about what they want but because it will make money for your shareholders. That absolutely requires they go by what you said prior to the quoted sentence.

The big media aren’t dicks for trying to make money, though they are for the anti-capitalistic tactics they use. They’re morons for not knowing how to keep making money or cowards for knowing how and being too afraid to do it.

I. Wrole says:

Sage Advice

“We remain firm in our belief Viacom and Walt Disney should limit their content availability on Netflix,” Juenger wrote.

I couldn’t agree more.

The likes of Viacom and Disney should limit their content availability on Netflix (et al) right down to zero. It’s long past time those dinosaurs and their ilk died.

Memo to the mentally aged: This is the 21st Century ffs.

Torg (profile) says:

Re: Sage Advice

That would mean that this generation won’t have access to Avatar or the old Spongebob, and Phineas and Ferb would be stuck on television. In exchange, kids wouldn’t have to watch…oh, wait, Netflix is on-demand. There’s no reason that having something available on Netflix could ever be bad, since watching anything on it is completely voluntary. The only positive that I can see coming from Disney and Viacom completely cutting off Netflix is kids finding My Little Pony quicker, and that’s a really weak silver lining.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Sage Advice

Absolutely my sentiment exactly. I would love nothing more than for Disney and Viacom to resuce their visibility and dominance in the video on demand segment and leave that space to the innovative, customer-friendly content companies that will embrace that space. I’ll enjoy the moment when my kids ask ‘Dad, what’s Disney?’

charliebrown (profile) says:

Video On Demand

I was thinking about this last night. See, if it all goe through one compny, like Netflix, then we have another monopoly on our hand. But if each company/person put up their on VoD service, you’d have to visit half a doze different sites to watch all the hows you like. What to do?

Not that it makes much difference here in Australia where we have catch-up TV and not much else.

varagix says:

Re: Re: Video On Demand

Unless of course the natural monopoly uses its early massive market share to lobby for imposed monopoly powers. Whether its governments, businesses, or anything else, when people obtain a certain amount of power, many refuse to simply let that power slip away. It takes an individual with a lot of moral character to let go when doing so is the best thing for society.

memiselfandi says:

Re: Video On Demand

“I was thinking about this last night. See, if it all goe through one compny, like Netflix, then we have another monopoly on our hand. But if each company/person put up their on VoD service, you’d have to visit half a doze different sites to watch all the hows you like. What to do?

Not that it makes much difference here in Australia where we have catch-up TV and not much else.”

Easy solution, use a mediacenter program like XBMC and addons that let you access all those different sites from one interface (commercials and all). It works fine for HULU.

But I do believe it’s too late, the ship has sailed, the genie is out of the bottle, big content missed the boat, the void has been filled with easy to access and nearly impossible to track infringing content.

I would be willing to watch commercials again but NOTHING would ever motivate me to return to cable. It would be like going back to using an icebox after using a refrigerator.

A rant brought to you by a citizen of the 21st century.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Because they are scared they will not still have enough money to do piles of blow off a hookers ass without all of the money they are used to getting for commercials.

They always made their money doing this, and change is bad!

VHS was going to destroy them!!!!
Yet they created artificial demand for their product on tape and made more money than before.

DVD sales let them pump forced commercials onto the masses and collect some more money for each disc sold.

Now offering just the content without all of the extra fluff is what the consumers want, it is much easier to say we have to stop this!!!! than to spend the time figuring out how to make it work.

You do not want an entire generation running around feeling entitled to getting content how, where, and when they want it… they might expect it as they grow older. And that could lead to them looking at alternate sources for the material like their parents did.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And then...

Isn’t it ironic that you call someone stupid literally three words after misusing “your” when you actually meant to say “you’re” as in “you are”? I won’t even begin to discuss the rest of your sentence, but suffice it to say you shouldn’t be calling anyone stupid.

Oh, and stealing requires that someone be deprived of something. What you meant to say was “nothing gives you the right to commit copyright infringement”.

Just wanted to help you out there, stupid.

PopeyeLePoteaux says:

Re: Re: And then...

Interesting, you call me stupid, yet you are driven bay the same faulty logic as theirs.

Copying is not theft because no property is lost.

Second, and most stupid thing is content cartels creating something and not expanding their distribution platforms, if the content has a big target audience and it has created a fan base, you don’t limit the access to the content, that’s ultimately stupid, as I said before; how are they expecting people to buy their stuff if they are NOT trying to sell it? THAT’S STUPID, rejecting a distribution tool way more efficient like the internet is istupid because you are depriving their target audience of the content they are suposedly trying to sell.

Then they equate infringement and theft, and say that “piracy” is killing their business. If they limit the access to their content, people will try to find ways to access their content, it is not stealing, it is a consequence for a bad distribution model, “piracy” or infringement is caused by the LACK of legal options in this case.

Seriously, if you can’t get a handle on this you have no hope.

Anonymous Coward says:

Good luck with that. Things like wrestling on SciFi Channel (or whatever they call it) and pulling shows I like off of TV is what has driven me to Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and other online on-demand sources. Any attempt to “steer viewership” to Television from on-demand sources will only make Disney and Viacom less relevant.

My parents would have watched the new Dallas, but it’s on a cable channel they don’t get and it’s not available on Hulu. Oh, well. I guess Dallas looses two pairs of eyeballs they might have had. My parents might watch it online/on Hulu. but they are certainly not going to subscribe to a higher cable plan. Trying to steer people to cable TV fails, and Dallas becomes completely irrelevant, in this case.

Anonymous Coward says:

You really have to wonder – WHY do the incumbent players want to keep the old model? The need to capture as big an audience as possible with each program, because there are only so many hours in the day to broadcast, and even fewer where advertisers will really pay well. The networks end up gambling over and over again on which programs they’ll produce or syndicate, and at the end of the day, their lunch is getting eaten from both ends.

With Netflix, the incumbents can leverage their massive back catalog (something especially true with children’s programming) to capture the long tail of viewers, without worrying about the friday night lineup, changing schedules and demographics, or syndication. This should be seen as utterly fantastic and a way out of the corner they’re being painted into, but instead it’s nothing but passive aggression and walled gardens as the current players refuse to realize that Netflix is actually providing value, and not just making money off of the content they provide.

Ed Allen (profile) says:

Re: Netflix is actually providing value, and not just making money off of the content they provide.

But these people think that Netflix being able to be paid for satisfying customers means
that Netflix is “stealing” money they should be getting.

Customers being willing to pay more for the same content just because it is available
at a time and place of their choosing fills their heads with the delusion that they
did not charge Netflix enough for that content, totally ignoring that Netflix
and Hulu add value by providing the content on demand.

Not being able to adjust what content and when to match what customers are willing
to pay for is why potential customers move into piracy initially and the Media companies’
arrogant atitude assures that those potential customers will never submit to their abuse again.

Andy (profile) says:

Obviously not a parent

This guy is obviously not a parent – Kids will watch TV- and usually the same thing over an over. If this is mixed with reading to them and physical acticity it is not necessarily bad. Netflix allows kids to watch the rpetitive shows easily. Also, I have found it a great way to bond with my son – he loves when I sit down with him to watch G.I. Joe, Transformers and TMNT – what a blast to be able to share my favorites with him.

Blatant Coward (profile) says:

Re: Obviously not a parent

I spent a week with my inlaws and their 3 year old. Any time the kid was in 4 yards of a screen, it had to be showing Pocahontas. Failure to do so would detonate what I called ‘The Scream Bomb’.

The parents who had much more immunity due to being sprayed by some umbilical juices at birth called it being a little fussy. The kid would stand in the middle of her detonation space and inhale for a solid 6 seconds, like a single WHOOOOooooooooooooooooooop. This was your last warning.

Then the screams would start, staccato, long pulsing shrieks, I swear this kid was screaming in three pitches at once. I never saw one take less than 20 minutes, the kid was Avatar deprived for the time the FBI warning took to play. The other 18 minutes was pure rage. These people carried 6 copies of Pocahontas at all times.

“Moms are increasingly directing their kids to alternative viewing modes for content control, commercial avoidance and time management” No, it’s to avoid scream bombs, and it’s NOT new, there are many worn out multiple copies of VCR tapes that reek of pablum.

Anonymous Coward says:

TV Analyst Fail

Hello, Mr TV Analyst, are you awake? It is the mothers making the decision on what the kids will watch, not the kids. Unless you understand that point, then your chances of coming to any correct conclusions are close to zero.

Oh wait, you did not come to any correct conclusions, anyway. Hmm. How long have you been a TV analyst for? Is anybody foolishly paying you for your analytical skills?

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re: TV Analyst Fail

actually my kids (4 and 6) know they each get 2 short shows or 1 long one in the morning. They turn the tv on (after asking) and the PS3, and fire up netflix and pick a show from the “just for kids” part. There has been a lot of spider man, some sort of super hero show involving wolverine, thor, and some others, and bay blades on recently.

Anyways, they do know what commercials are, they are the point in the show to get up and ask for more water or go to the bathroom etc.

Rikuo (profile) says:

“Hey boss, I got a great idea on how to increase sales”
“Go on…”
“We should go back to the old days, limit access to our content as much as possible, and say to our customers that the way they’re viewing content is wrong. It doesn’t matter at all what they want, they’re just the unwashed masses”.

At this point, I’m not surprised that the higher ups at Disney are okay with this sort of thinking, that actively saying that you will deny customer demand is somehow a good thing.

Analyst Guy – If your customers clearly want to watch their shows on Netflix, LET THEM! However, if you limit access, DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT come back crying woeful tales of piracy destroying your company.



NOTE its not the sci fi channel no more ..hasn’t been for a long long time they changed to syfy channel and now i think they are the Dw channel ..dinnosaur wrestling channel and i saw wrestling and its awful compared to what it once was….
seriously awful…lol
don’t worry its its last bread winner and its slowly dying off….
people with a brain get ready for the revolution
me and others are teaming up to do the sci fi you love or we think you might….
and it will all be free with a donate button
4 seasons of one show are written , the sketching is ongoing
and the only thing left is to garner some voices for the animations….
we don’t need actors we just need voices….
i got that covered too. also coming from our realm will soon be games for free too…..
if the corporates cant give me entertainment ill make it….
and im gonna do something unique and ive seen aspects of it from book authors….
( ya i have an editor LOL ) and im part of the new generation that will replace the old….and ill write a new license called GO the heck ahead and do as you want ….screw creative commons and attribution enjoy recreate and have fun, also as i go ill release new meshes and imagery and tutorials so everyone can do it…..its not about making money its about the art, then this is what one must do….opensource the making and doing and sharing….

I am what hollywood fears….I am the NEW FOX PIRATE….and i don’t care about them.


Re: Re: Are these people using the same Netflix I am?

Well, there’s a lot of stuff that’s on cable that isn’t on Netflix or iTunes yet. Some people drone on about how Netflix is great for kids but I think they are on crack. The selection is limited and what they do have isn’t complete. If anything, I think this is all about parents forcing dire compromises on kids that really don’t have any other option.

I think the biggest challenge to cutting the cord is the aforementioned childrens programming. Disney et al is already keeping it away from Netflix. They don’t need anyone to tell them to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Meta: stale cache?

I can’t seem to get a fresh view of the front page of Techdirt anymore. Reloading it hasn’t done anything for the past 14 hours, and normally the largest gap between posts (other than over the weekend) is perhaps 4 hours. I’m not using any sort of cache or proxy here and I don’t think my ISP is transparently caching web requests either. This just suddenly started at, apparently, eight last night. Could it be something at Techdirt’s end, perhaps involving your webhost?

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Circular argument?

?Viacom and Disney should do everything in their power to steer viewership toward modes with the best long-term economics, namely traditional TV and emerging forms of TV Everywhere VOD.?

OK, so Mr Consultant comes along and writes the report his employers mostly want to hear then…right at the end as he recommends continuing the stare into the rear view mirror be also adds VOD. Which, in many ways, is what Netflix is. Hulu too if they’d recognize that the border between Canada and the States has never really existed when it comes to broadcast and who cares anyway? (We even get the same ads now!) He may, of course, be referring to an as yet imaginary VOD service for Disney and Viacom only.

As others have asked “how much was he paid for this”?

Vincent Clement (profile) says:

My youngest loves On Demand via our Cable TV provider. I constantly see the On Demand queue full of kids shows.

This idea about steering viewers is completely out of date. I like the new show Longmire on A&E, but by 10 pm on a Sunday, I’m ready to hit the sack. So I record it and watch at a more convenient time.

From my point-of-view, traditional TV does not represent a medium with the best long-term economics.

Grant says:

the thing is, they are assuming there will be no competition online in 10 – 20 years. Just look at Youtube today, you can find plenty of original quality content. Also, Hulu is starting to create more and more content themselves. If Disney doesn’t make themselves available in the format that people want, there are other players who are more than willing and capable to take their place in those formats.

they might be able to do this and force people to watch their shows on tv today. but 5 years down the road they will find themselves completely irrelevant, and with tons of competition.

Anonymous Howard, Cowering says:

TWO focus groups?
SIXTEEN parents in total?

Can we get “Juengering” into the lexicon?

One who is guilty of Juengering has an overwhelming wish to be named in a “news” article, despite any and all indication(s) that the conclusion(s) drawn are unlikely to be representative of fact.

This would fit nicely alongside “Streisand effect” and “Carreon effect” and be of great use when discussing Chiefs of Police who equate IP addresses with SWAT targets, LEOs who believe recording their public duties is illegal, et cetera.

AC says:

Proper Frame of Reference

I like Techdirt and typically appreciate the perspective presented, but in this case I think this article is a bit misleading. Juenger is a financial analyst, and his comments are directed at investors. The results of his focus group is clear, but he is presenting the information to “assist” Disney/Viacom in maintaining their add revenue, not to point out evolving business models. Maybe that is another report he can charge his clients for!

Tech Mom (profile) says:


Sounds like Mr. Juenger spends his spare time switching deck chairs on the Titanic. I don’t think Disney/Viacom has any trouble maintaining their ad revenue or does, from what I’ve seen, any other network. Not only have they seem to have added more commercials, they’re adding product placement in their shows. Does he also suggest getting rid of DVRs? I don’t watch live TV anymore…I record everything and fast forward through the commercials. Eventually, companies will realize that and network ad revenue with “suffer” anyway.

TurnerBrewer says:


Netflix is all that my 11 year old son watches. He enjoys some of the old TV shows that Dad grew up watching. He says that he likes not having to wait thru a commercial break.
I bought my wife an IPAD this year and now she watches her shows online. We stopped watching our DirecTV, so I cancelled it 10 months ago. Netflix for $8 plus purchasing TV shows via ITUNES is alot cheaper than the $95 DirecTV bill.

Tex Arcana (profile) says:

Goe to prove he’s NOT a journalist, and instead is an industry shill, bought and paid for by Di$ney et al.

Of COURSE streaming content is a threat to their “industry models”!! They can’t dictate what propaganda our children watch if it’s uncommercialized and on-demand, now can they?? Instead of shoving their penises–I MEAN, their “religion” (see for clarification) down our kids’ throats, they see us lowly parents as being to stupid to properly edumacate our kidlets (“YOU MUST BUY OUR CRAP”, “YOU MUST WATCH ONLY WHAT WE TELL YOU TO WATCH”, “YOU MUST LISTEN TO WHAT THE OVERLOARDS SAY AND DO IT”, “YOU MUST PAY FULL PRICE FOR EVERYTHNG WE DEEM TO BELONG TO US”, “ARGUMENT NOT ALLOWED”).

Yeah, it makes turning us into shuffling, lockstepping, zombie drone slaves SO much harder!! :tard:

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...