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Netflix Takes Your Kid Hostage

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We're now just a couple of weeks away from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) passing through a meaty price increase to many of its existing subscribers, but the video buffet operator hasn't forgotten what's important to you -- your kids.

Netflix is adding a Just for Kids tab on its website, opening up an easily navigable experience for children 12 and under to access vetted kid-friendly streaming content.

Pretty sneaky, Netflix.

I was already set on swallowing the price hike. I've grown too fond of the discs now that I've mastered the trick for getting new releases (keep this on the down-low, but you basically just make sure that your local Netflix distribution center receives a return disc on Monday when it ships out the new releases that come out on Tuesday). I've also grown too fond of the streaming service, having spent the past few weeks introducing my wife to Mad Men and reliving my Lost experience with my eldest son.

If I had any doubts on keeping the $7.99 a month streaming plan -- which I didn't -- they were lifted yesterday afternoon when I set up a bookmark on my youngest son's PC to access Just for Kids. He gravitated right to some classic Wallace & Gromit shorts that he hadn't seen in a few years. He was hooked. I was anchored.

The area is laid out perfectly. The top of the screen is filled with familiar characters from Viacom's (NYSE: VIA  ) Nickelodeon and Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) Disney Channel. If you don't know who iCarly or Phineas & Ferb are, ask a kid. If those characters don't do the trick, more conventional video box covers follow. The categories are broad enough. From robots to dinosaurs -- and princesses to girl power -- there are plenty of streaming videos available to satisfy even finicky kid tastes. Animated classics including The Iron Giant and Toy Story 3 share the virtual racks alongside live-action faves Spy Kids and Free Willy. Kids who can't sit still in front of a PC screen for 90 minutes can dive into television shows and animated shorts.

Yes, this is strictly a PC-tethered experience for now. A quick download of Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Silverlight is required just as it is for Netflix's conventional streaming service. Yesterday's press release promises that the service will roll out on all three gaming consoles and the iPad tablet over the next year.

This is a brilliant move for Netflix. Instead of acquiring more content, it is repackaging what it already has creatively and more effectively. Since anyone with kids knows that they stand up to repeat viewings of things they like, they will likely never complain about a lack of streaming content the way some adults have with Netflix.

Well played, Netflix.

Are you streaming video these days? What services are you using? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney, Netflix, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix shareholder -- and subscriber -- since 2002. He's owned shares of Disney for even longer. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2011, at 3:49 PM, TMFLouis wrote:

    Phineas & Ferb rock! Oh, and I think this is a great move by Netflix. Just wait till you can hook it up in the family people hauler for that four hour drive to grandma's house during the holidays.


  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2011, at 4:25 PM, Hokie33 wrote:


    I have many of my friends who have young kids and have said for a few years now how great the streaming shows are for the little kids. Now even better that they added a tab.

  • Report this Comment On August 17, 2011, at 5:53 PM, dkalis wrote:

    my little nephew hoped on his mom's netflix account without her knowing and order 161.00 dollars worth of these movies from thier new tab. Yes she's pretty upset about it. Good job netflix I guess..

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2011, at 11:18 AM, TMFZahrim wrote:

    @dkalis, Netflix doesn't work that way. One flat monthly fee covers everything you watch. Perhaps you're confusing Netflix with Amazon, iTunes, or the cable company's movies on demand, where you actually can rack up this kind of horrendous charges.


  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2012, at 12:27 AM, caelin389 wrote:



    WHEN YOU FOUND OUT CHIT WAS HITTING THE FAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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