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  • Daniel Rühmann

Why our kids love Netflix and avoid most traditional TV platforms

We live and breathe TV metadata as few people do. Metadata actually confronts you indirectly every day, as it drives navigation in streaming services and on TV platforms.


With Corona kicking in, our own children increased the time spent in front of the television. So we started to observe and analyze how our children were deciding on, picking, and consuming content from Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, as well some national and regional streaming services such as the Danish DR Ramasjang and Viaplay:

  • How did they navigate?

  • Where and when did they spend the most time browsing around without finding the content they wanted to watch? And why?

  • When they made quick viewing decisions - what was the key driver for their decisions?


TV Metadata for kids where tv programming is segmented into content universes or kids collections, featuring Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart, Cartoon Network 2019, Shaun the Sheep, CBBC, 2007, Waffle the Wonder Dog, Ingenious Media, 2018, Bamses billedbog, DR 1983, PowerPuff Girls, Cartoon Network 1998, Regular Show, Cartoon Network, 2009
Character Profile for Bao Bao, Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart, Cartoon Network, 2019

Content targeted children are driving billions of dollars and many families subscribe to streaming services in relation to their children's content loved shows and characters. So it was interesting to dive deeper into the behavioral differences between navigation of leading streaming services and the experiences our children had when using traditional TV operator platforms - we had the pleasure of testing several of our own customers' interfaces.


Assessment of user interfaces and tv metadata for Netflix, Viaplay and Amazon Video Prime. Highlights were made on dynamic recommendations, tv data fields, gender and age segmentation, usage of keywords and genres
Kids Universes Research, Oct. 2020 - Netflix, Viaplay, Amazon Prime

We learned three things:

  1. Our children had no meaningful content carousels for similar kids' content from traditional TV operators. Most kids' content was just filled into one big kids' category and then they could start searching.

  2. Age segmentation is a must to increase content relevance. And our older kids had different selection criteria such as kind of images and relevance of additional information about the programs than our pre-school children.

  3. Our children love to navigate based on character profiles such as Peppa Pig, Vampirina, Barbie, and Bob the Builder. Nearly no traditional TV operator had this navigation - even they had tons of good content across linear channels and in-bound streaming services.


User interface concepts to showcase tv data by using png images of kids characters. Featuring Kids vs Kat, Disney 2008, Space Chickens in Space, Disney XD, 2018, Iron Man, Marvel Studios
Kids characters variations

Our conclusion was clear: We need to enable and support TV operators in their aspirations to build interfaces in the same way as the big streaming platforms do it. The platforms should be able to differentiate and nuance the navigation in their kids' content section.


So what have we done? We have created the most comprehensive keyword space that will enable advanced navigation by divided the content into moods, settings, characteristics, audiences, and periods. And this is done for all local, regional, national and international content. And then we learned a lot about the importance of educational content that we are brought up in one of the next articles.


Keywords tv metadata for Dog with a blog, Disney 2012 showcasing mood, setting, characteristics, audience and period as well as tv recommendations based on 8 characteistics, 3 moods, 3 settings, 1 period and 4 audience keywords
Keywords for Dog with a Blog, Disney, 2012

Thanks to the team around Simply.TV for contributing to this article and the gained insights - especially thanks for our research expert Ioana Iftode. For more regular insights, follow Simply.TV on LinkedIn.