Asking my kids

YouTube or Netflix?

This weekend, I was chatting with my kids about online streaming video. They’re 6 and 9 years old. They barely watch regular broadcast TV if ever. To them, video means streaming. It’s the only thing that counts.

I asked them if they had to choose between YouTube and Netflix, what would they prefer? The answer was crystal clear; YouTube. Youtube is more valuable than Netflix to them.

They absolutely love vloggers. The vloggers they watch are older boys playing their favorite video games like Minecraft, Clash Royale and Fortnite. To them, these vloggers are older boys who are cool and they look up to them. The vloggers they’re allowed to watch are curated by us based on language and intent. They can only watch when there’s a parent in the room. It’s not that they stumble on inappropriate content often, but at least you can act on it and discuss it in the moment. YouTube does, in general, do a good job by recommending appropriate content based on their favorites. It hasn’t been a big issue.

I find it interesting to watch though and I wonder how this is going to play out over time. Are they still only watching YouTube when they’re 15? How about 18? Or 25? There’s a real chance that Netflix will be for “old” people much like Facebook is for “old” people too. Or is Netflix going to respond? Or can these two streaming services co-exist, but with different product and content focus. Time will tell, but it’s super interesting to see.

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