PTC: Saving kids more important than saving money

Thursday, May 13, 2021
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

video streaming services (with family watching)More and more families are "cutting the cord" and going to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu instead of traditional cable for their family entertainment – but that presents associated risks for parents.

Families likely can save a lot of money by ditching cable and relying on streaming services instead. But according to Melissa Henson of the Parents Television and Media Council, that move introduces a lot more for parents to worry about as well.

Henson, Melissa (PTC)"These streaming services are not beholden to broadcast decency laws," she explains. "And quite often they're not even constrained by advertisers because a lot of these streaming services are not ad-supported."

Advertiser-supported streaming services – like Paramount+, Peacock, and Hulu – are the most cost-effective, according to Henson's organization. But PTC doesn't consider that to be the primary consideration.

In a just-released report, PTC has ranked the major streaming services on the ability of parents to control what their children can access. Most of those services don't provide what PTC considers adequate parental controls – and that, she says, is why Netflix is at the top of their list.

PTC Dollars and Sense report (Apr 2021)"Netflix has the best parental controls out there," she tells One News Now, "and that's largely because in addition to having PIN-restricted access, Netflix has an added protection – which is that you can block individual titles."

Disney-owned Hulu comes in at the other end of the list. "They lump programming for very young children together with programming that's intended for teens," Henson warns. "The other problem with Hulu is that there's really nothing to stop a child from switching to an adult profile."

Henson would like to see even stronger parental controls for all the services, including Netflix – such as the ability to block categories of programs.

The PTC report "Dollars and Sense: A Parent's Guide to Streaming Media" is available on the PTC website.

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