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Netflix Is Testing Collectible Patches for Kids

Dave Parrack 13-03-2018

Netflix is testing out a new feature that would reward children for watching more content. In the experiment, which is only available to a select group of users, kids are being given collectible patches for watching episodes of certain shows.


This is called gamification, and it’s pretty common across the technology sector. Your Snapchat score and Xbox Achievements Xbox Achievements: A Beginner's Guide Wondering how to earn Xbox achievements? Not sure how to check what achievements you have, or want to enable the Xbox achievement tracker? This guide it for you! Read More are both examples of gamification. However, while it isn’t uncommon, this Netflix experiment isn’t going down well with parents.

Watch Shows, Earn Patches

Netflix’s collectible patches are a simple idea. Each show has a number of patches assigned to it, and when kids watch episodes of that show they get awarded the patches on offer. And they’ll keep earning more patches the longer they carry on watching netflix.

Right now, the patches don’t actually do anything. They don’t unlock new content, and they can’t be cashed in for something more useful. However, should the experiment prove to be a success Netflix could change the way this reward structure works.

Netflix’s testing of collectible patches was first noted on Twitter in February. Variety then reported on the experiment, and opinions started coming in thick and fast. Leading to Netflix issuing a statement explaining the logic behind this little experiment.


“We are testing a new feature on select kids titles that introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience, adding an element of fun and providing kids something to talk about and share around the titles they love. We learn by testing and this feature may or may not become part of the Netflix experience.”

A Binge-Watching Bonanza

Parents and child advocacy groups, which have already complained about Messenger Kids Experts Beg Facebook to Dump Messenger Kids Concerns about Messenger Kids have coalesced into an open letter calling on Mark Zuckerberg to shutter the app aimed at children aged between six and 12. Read More , have expressed concerns. The main issue being that this could lead to children binge-watching Netflix even more than they do already. Which isn’t exactly healthy.

Given the extreme reactions I seriously doubt that Netflix will introduce collectible patches for kids. But just in case it may be worth parents reading up on how gamification is changing your life 3 Unusual Ways Gamification Is Changing Your Life Today Gamification is about motivation, participation, and loyalty. It is a popular trend and a powerful business strategy. But have you noticed its subtle impact on your daily life? Read More and why gamification is not a magic bullet Why Gamification Is Not The Magic Bullet Everyone Thinks It Is Gamification is spreading across the web like a plague, as if slapping on a few badges and leaderboards is enough engage users. The truth? Gamification can harmful. Read More .

Image Credit: Sarah Joy via Flickr

Related topics: Media Streaming, Netflix, Parenting and Technology.

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  1. csm2
    March 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Gamification schmagification! Netflix patches are no different than cheap plastic gewgaws in cereal boxes.

  2. David Martchouk
    March 13, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Netflix is already trying to force adults to ignore content that does not have the "netflix original" sticker on it, and I hate that, no I do not want to watch your Netflix Original trailer that has nothing to do with what I just watched! Netflix will very likely limit these "patches" to "Netflix Original" shows, trying to force children to ignore other great shows that are not Netflix exclusives. I also would not be surprised if the "patches" also went onto the adult side.