Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids "patches" (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.
Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.
"We've concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well - and what doesn't work well - for our members."
During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into "binge watchers" through the patch program.
Hey @netflix! If this becomes a thing, my kids are not going to be allowed to watch Netflix any more. We don't need you to drive engagement for them to *watch more TV*. https://t.co/Eb9sEBy3oV — aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018
@netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste time in front of the television. — The Ape of God (@simiadei) March 12, 2018
Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Trolls," "Troll Hunters," Fuller House," and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a "more interactive experience" and to "expand the storytelling world for the show."
Users who were part of Netflix's test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.