Netflix puts an end to its patchy trial to gamify kids' viewing habits

Netflix has revealed that it will no longer offer ‘patches’ to children who binge watch certain TV shows, announcing that this particular trial has ended. 

It was an idea that, on its surface, had good intentions. Kids would watch a certain show and if they watched enough episodes then they were given a patch and in turn this would unlock new content. 

Some of the shows where the incentive was on offer included Fuller House, A Series Of Unfortunate Events and recent Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro’s TrollHunters. 

The idea being that it would offer kids a much more interactive experience with Netflix. 

Interactivity seems to be a key metric for Netflix - it has a number of interactive children's shows on its roster which are choose your own adventure. One of which features Puss In Boots from the Shrek franchise. 

Game, set and patch

Patches have been patched, however, with Netflix explaining to Buzzfeed: "We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. 

“We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."

The news will be welcomed by some who took to, as you would expect, Twitter to raise their concerns that this gamification of children and their viewing habits were just not on. 

The trial ends just as another controversy surrounding streaming services apparently aimed at children sparks up. 

YouTube is having to tighten its algorithm once again for its YouTube Kids platform, which has been accused of serving up conspiracy videos to innocent eyes. 

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.