While applauding Disney's new streaming platform, a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment advises parents to stay on guard.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that investors cheered Disney's aggressive challenge to rival entertainment giant Netflix Inc. and others in the crowded field. Priced at just $7 a month, the platform is several dollars cheaper than Netflix’s most popular plan, which runs $11 per month.
Parents Television Council's (PTC) Melissa Henson says the new streaming service crafts a much safer platform than most others, calling it an 80 percent solution for families. But since Disney+ is not just for kids, she points out that Disney needs to add content filtering and parental controls.
"If they added a layer of filtering so you could say, 'My kid can browse freely, but I don't want them to be able to access anything that's rated PG-13,' that would be great," Henson suggests. "Or if you could filter out certain kinds of content, just a little bit of added parental control would make it go from an 80 percent solution for families to 100 percent solution for families."
Henson cautions that parents have to stay on their toes as more streaming services become available.
"It's important for parents to be mindful as they bring in these streaming services that there are no content restrictions when it comes to streaming content," she says. "FCC and decency rules do not apply when it comes to streaming content, and you don't even have the benefit of advertiser pressure to hold these providers in line."
So, while more options, flexibility, and even more controls may be available, Henson warns that much more extreme content will also be available.
Disney+ reportedly weighs heavily on Disney's finances and is not expected to break even for about five years.