Less than 15 percent of the original content on America’s most popular streaming services is rated as family-friendly, according to a new study from the Parents Television and Media Council that also found that the number of “MA” programs on all platforms far exceeds that of kid-friendly content.
The study, titled “Families Need Not Subscribe,” found that only 14.7 percent of original content on America’s most popular streaming service, Netflix, is rated PG, G, TV-Y or TV-Y7.
On Amazon Prime, America's second-most popular platform, less than 3 percent of original content is rated PG, G, or “All.”
Overall, across all major streaming services, there are 541 TV-MA-rated original series but only 87 TV-PG-rated and 60 TV-G-rated original programs. The result: There are 268 percent “more adult-only entertainment on streaming platforms” than programs rated as family-friendly, the study said.
“The shift to digital on-demand programming should have opened up vast opportunities for entertainment companies -- no longer constrained by timeslot, preemptions, carriage disputes, or scheduling challenges -- to offer abundant original programming for every audience segment,” the study said.
Yet “every major streaming platform has substantially failed to deliver content for families – the one audience segment that would most guarantee their success.”
The study does not include Disney Plus and other niche streaming services.
The study recommends that families “seek out niche, family-oriented streaming services rather than giving their money to legacy media companies that have repeatedly demonstrated their disinterest in programming for families.” Although the study did not recommend specific services, family-focused platforms such as Great American Pure Flix and Frndly TV have grown in recent years.
The study also found that:
-- AppleTV+ is “the best for family programming” among major streaming services, with 37 percent of original programs rated TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, or TV-PG.
-- Prime Video is the “worst for family programming.”
-- Peacock trails AppleTV+ for family-suitable content, with 35 percent of original programs rated TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, or TV-PG.
“The lack of family-appropriate viewing options,” the study said, “leads to more fragmented media consumption within the home, which feeds into feelings of isolation and loneliness for children at a time when children are already dealing with unprecedented mental health struggles.”
Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Robert Daly
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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