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Television Businesses Movies The Almighty Buck

82% of Kids in 'Netflix Only' Homes Have No Idea What Commercials Are (exstreamist.com) 301

Two anonymous readers share a report: We decided to survey parents of young children (below 10 years old) to see how many kids in "Netflix only" homes knew what commercials are, compared to those homes who watch regular television. We surveyed 100 parents (50 Netflix-only homes, 50 normal television homes), here were their responses: 82% of kids in Netflix only homes don't know what commercials are. 38% of kids in regular television homes don't know what commercials are.

82% of Kids in 'Netflix Only' Homes Have No Idea What Commercials Are

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:43PM (#54037437)
    The same was true for cable TV when I was kid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swb ( 14022 )

      What? Cable TV was almost never "commercial free" except for maybe 5 minutes at the dawn of the cable channel industry.

      My first sighting of cable TV in suburban Minneapolis showed commercials on the "cable" channels.

      And of course re-transmitted over the air channels always had commercials because it was just a closed-circuit feed of the OTA signal.

      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Parker Lewis ( 999165 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:10PM (#54037751)
        Can you realize that maybe we were kids in a different time. When cable TV started the appeal was: 1 - you'll pay to watch commercials free TV; 2 - better programs. Now we have none.
        • by swb ( 14022 )

          Premium channels than and now were commercial free, but if there were bundled "cable channels" that were commercial free it was for a very short window of time. I don't know if cable systems sent HBO out to subscribers for free in the early days. They certainly never re-transmitted local channels commercial free.

          The *amount* of commercials has grown over time, I do remember there being fewer commercials on cable channels -- but channels like MTV were never commercial free AFAIK, and this goes back to circ

          • Re:Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by sudden.zero ( 981475 ) <sudden.zero@nOSPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @02:07PM (#54038227)
            I beg to differ. I have many Beta and VHS tapes of the first days of Cable TV, and there are no commercials, at least not things other than shows, on any of the tapes. There were advertisements for other shows on MTV, but there aren't any ads for things like Food, Electronics, etc. They had what were called shorts, and these were clever little cartoons in-between shows, but not actual advertisements.
            • You're quite mistaken here.

              CATV, or Community Antenna TeleVision, was literally exactly that: Effectively a big long antenna that allowed reception of channels that were otherwise out of your geographical reach, and this concept was later extended to bring "superstations" like WGN and WTBS to more markets than just their home market. Nonetheless, these channels were never without commercials until the concept was even further extended to include content that wasn't broadcast anywhere and could only be seen

        • I've travelling this week and the place I'm staying only has OTA TV. We tried turning it on. It's a wasteland.

          • I travel about 230 days each year. I might turn the hotel television on once or twice in a month. Television is unwatchable these days.

            • I might turn the hotel television on once or twice in a month. Television is unwatchable these days.

              It depends on where you travel to. US television is indeed unwatchable due to the ad breaks but if you happen to visit Europe and they have the BBC channels those are entirely ad free and even the commercial UK channels only have 2 breaks per 1 hour programme (or one per 30 minute programme).

          • It depends on how you look at it.

            If you're used to satellite TV or Netflix - yeah, it's pretty barren. Compared to what WAS available though, in the modern age there's a lot more channels available then "back in the day".

            Since the mid 1990's the amount of over the air channels available here has more than tripled (5 channels to now 16). I mostly stick to Netflix but I do occasionally use the OTA antenna for things like football games and such.

          • It always has been.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by StormReaver ( 59959 )

        What? Cable TV was almost never "commercial free" except for maybe 5 minutes at the dawn of the cable channel industry.

        The "premium" Cable TV channels (HBO, Cinemax, etc.) were indeed commercial free for some time, at least in the market where my family was served (SouthernCalifornia). That was one of the major draws of watching movies on Cable versus broadcast TV. I don't remember how long it took for commercials to appear, but (according to my infallible memory), it seemed like a number of years.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        In the 1980's Cable was free of commercials!! You paid for the service and they gave you no commercials in return for your money.. Then endless unregulated greed came to town.. Yes folks! You now get 1000's of channels (of duplicates). I wonder if people caught up with this trick?... On the other hand: If you offered 40 commercial free channels (Of your choice.), it would be plenty for $20.00 bucks a month. Save your bandwidth for cable games, for people who want to pay extra!!
        • by swb ( 14022 )

          That was the *promise* of cable TV, but the rebroadcast terrestrial stations would *never* have been commercial free due to all manner of contractual obligations to run advertising.

          I'll admit not having an encyclopedia of cable stations, but when I first watched cable in 1983 the non-premium channels had commercials. Maybe less than now, but still they had them. WGN was always a commercial-filled operation.

          Regardless of whether the very small handful of "cable only" channels were actually commercial free

      • no early cable tv was local OTA channels in areas with poor pick up. Super stations came later on as well stuff like HBO.

        • This was especially true out west. If there were a couple of mountains between you and the nearest large city, everyone got the local OTA channels from cable. Usually run by the local electricity supplier. Then big independent stations from places like Atlanta and Chicago started to go nationwide via cable. The 1970's had 'premium' cable channels starting out. This exploded in the early 1980's. This is when cable companies started charging more and more. The premium channels started out commercial free.
    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Funny)

      by creimer ( 824291 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:14PM (#54037803) Homepage
      The girls in the seventh grade thought I came from a "poor" family because we didn't have cable to watch MTV and we didn't own an Apple ][ computer.
      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        And didn't you? I know I did. Thanks goodness for the advent of the Commodore 64.

        • Thanks goodness for the advent of the Commodore 64.

          We used to dream of having a C64. My family was so poor, we had to write our BASIC programs on a Timex/Sinclair ZX80.

          • by Creedo ( 548980 )
            Pshaw. At least you could get under the hood. Without the disk system and extended basic for my bare bones TI-99/4a, I was stymied. I lusted after the Adam computer and the generic TS-1000 clones for sale in the back of Radio Electronics magazines.
            • by Higaran ( 835598 )
              I remember my first PC fondly, it was a Tandy Sensation from Radio Shack, that thing was CRAZY expensive at the time.
            • DISK SYSTEM? You kids are so privileged these days, it makes me livid. When I was a child we had to scour the streets for scrap paper to make punch cards which we'd punch with out own teeth before humbly submitting them to the local university to be run through their MONECS machine. AND they never showed us the output, so we had to listen at the window as the line printer clacked away and try to guess what it was doing.

              Disks! Pffft!

        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          Thanks goodness for the advent of the Commodore 64.

          I went through three Commodore 64's from middle school through college in ten years. Although I had a near letter quality dot matrix printer with Commodore and Centronic connectors, I was still required to use a typewriter for my reports. I had that printer for 20 years before I replaced it with an inkjet printer in 2005.

      • So that's why I'm wealthy. I still have my Apple //e. I upgraded recently from a ][+

        • by es330td ( 964170 )
          Do all your programs still work? In my family we had a //e, one uncle had a ][+ and another had a //c. Few things were more annoying than borrowing a program that worked on one but didn't work on another.
        • by creimer ( 824291 )

          I still have my Apple //e. I upgraded recently from a ][+

          That was a school fad back in the 1980's. Every school had Apple ][ with dual floppy drives and monitor. Richer families spent $2,500 on that setup. Poorer families went for the cheaper $250 Atari, Commodore or TI computers.

  • Good or not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Calydor ( 739835 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:43PM (#54037443)

    Without having commercials to teach you that companies consider you a never-ending open wallet, and that they WILL lie to you to get your money, will these Netflix-only kids grow up to be or more less naive about the honesty of other people and companies?

    • Re:Good or not? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:46PM (#54037477)

      I have the same worry with my kids, who don't even know how to control the FIOS part of the TV. But I also find the irony of wondering if television commercials are good for kids quite amusing.

      • Netflix-only kids don't know what commercials are

        build Utopia, and people will pay $8.99/month to live there.

        • If you have netflix, check your cc statement. It's not 8.99 anymore. If you don't have netflix, you probably don't care! And you may still not care even if you do have it. In all likelihood I've wasted an entire post on this topic only because I have a bit of knowledge that I hope someone finds useful. Though they likely will not.
      • Imagine if you will, a society that successfully eliminates con-men for a time. They have a "tough on lies" stance, or lock down the currency, or no one has anything to steal. Whatever reason, you have a generation of people who have never been flim-flammed, cheated, lied to, stolen from, and/or welshed. And then things change, as they do, and now con-men are introduced to the populous. They are liars in a society full of trust. Imagine that clusterfuck.

        So, is the inverse true? Let's say we had some so

    • Re:Good or not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:14PM (#54037795)

      Without having commercials to teach you that companies consider you a never-ending open wallet

      You must not watch very many recent movies or television shows. They movies/shows have become the commercials: product placement.

      In same cases, the movies have essentially become mildly entertaining infomercials for kids (e.g,. the Lego movies). In other cases, the movie is a way to get kids to want the inevitable avalanche of associated merchandise. Kids didn't need commercials to know that they wanted the Frozen lunch box or the Cars backpack. To quote the wise Yogurt, "merchandising, it's all in the merchandising" (you will have to imagine the funny accent).

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        I found with my kids, they actually just seemed to want to less stuff than a lot of kids their age.

      • I don't think this is anything new. When I was a kid, it was actually more blatant with He-Man, GI-Joe, Thundecats, TMNT, and other shows basically existing only to promote the toys. Going back and watching those shows was almost painful. The quality was so bad. And we watched it anyway because there really wasn't much else on TV.

        • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

          It depends on when you were a kid. I was a college student in the 90s. But kids growing up in the 90s - early 2000s had some quality animated television that ages pretty well - Batman:TAS and the related D.C. Shows, Animaniacs, DuckTales, Pinky and the Brain, Tiny Toons, etc.

      • My favorite show as a kid was The Transformers. If we're to be honest it was first and foremost a half hour commercial for the Hasbro toy line. This is nothing new.
      • You must not watch very many recent movies or television shows. They movies/shows have become the commercials: product placement.

        I'm sure that would NEVER [youtu.be] happen.

    • by E-Rock ( 84950 )

      We're a mostly PBS and Netflix home, so they don't see many commercials. However, they do see them when we watch live sports. I make sure to point out that ads are lies that are trying to trick you into buying their products. Sometimes we even talk about how a particular ad is trying to appeal to you.

    • Well, my kid sure didn't like hearing their messages at least. When my son was 3 his only exposure to video had been nature documentaries and sesame street on Netflix. Then one day he paid attention to some show my wife and I were watching on Hulu, a commercial came on and he screamed "I DON'T LIKE THIS SHOW CHANGE IT!" So at least he developed "disgust for advertising" at an early age.

    • I suspect they'll be less naive as to the dangers of commercials, but also more affected by the commercials that they do see, which is what my own experience has been up to this point. I cut the cord years ago and have had ad-blockers installed for even longer, so I've been away from commercials for long enough to grow used to their absence. When I do see an ad, the following seems to be true:
      - I'm no longer ad-blind, so (for better or worse) I pay a lot more attention to them when I do see them
      - The ones I

    • people, especially children, are a lot more easily influenced than you're allowing for. This is why in the 60s people fought hard (and lost) to keep TV advertisements from hitting children. There's a theory that one of the reasons the boomers are as self centered/narcissistic as they are (compared to other generations) is they were the first generation raised on TV.
  • I mean really, its like its all starting over again? How long before Netflix and other streaming companies add commercials? CableTV started as a Pay TV with no commercials, and then added them when they wanted to more revenue...

    • I must be older than you. Cable started out as a simple rebroadcast over wire system, and the pay TV channels came later.

      • My home town in Kansas always had great reception for OTA because the terrain is fairly flat and unobstructed so we didn't get cable until the mid 80s after they had added pay channels and the population had increased making demand high enough to make it worthwhile. Satellite was popular for remote areas that couldn't get cable around that time as well but the nearby city had cable since maybe the 60s.

      • Most people forget the very early days of what cable TV was. There's a common short form you'll see on the back of old TVs where the cable plugged in. It was CATV. This stood for Community Access Television or Community Antenna Television. Basically, in areas with poor reception, they would build one giant antenna to get really good reception, and then put a cable to each person's house so that they could get reception of the channels that were coming over the air for free.

    • Netflix already has commercials, sort of. Many of Netflix's shows have been doing product placements of things like Apple products for years now, and they have advertising for certain shows built into the home page of their web site and applications. Surely you must have noticed that Netflix always promotes their own shows before they show other content now.

  • I've forgotten too (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:48PM (#54037503)

    I haven't forgotten commercials entirely, but I've forgotten what they are like, and they are super annoying. Last time I stayed in a hotel, I flipped on TV and tried to watch a show -- I didn't make it past the first half of the show before I flipped off the TV and went to my laptop to watch Netflix because I couldn't stand the ads.

    • Aye. Everytime we visit family, The Television(s) are rarely off. I can barely stand it. Even before we got rid of cable - 95%+ of our TV viewing was DVR'd and manually skipped commercial breaks.
  • Only Comment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:54PM (#54037573) Homepage

    The only comment on the article's page is very accurate: "META: this article is a commercial for Netflix."

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:54PM (#54037581)

    We surveyed 100 parents (50 Netflix-only homes, 50 normal television homes),

    So an incredibly non-scientific tiny sample size, not at all representative of the population at large.

    38% of kids in regular television homes don't know what commercials are.

    I call bullshit on this one. There is no way you can actually watch cable TV and not know what a commercial is. Even with a DVR you'll still see them.

    • Re:I call BS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pesho ( 843750 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:23PM (#54037883)

      I call bullshit on this one. There is no way you can actually watch cable TV and not know what a commercial is. Even with a DVR you'll still see them.

      Keep in mind that we are talking about kids under ten. If nobody explained to them what a commercial is it is very likely that they see it as normal TV show.

      • by boskone ( 234014 )

        when my kids were three, and they saw their first commercials they said "we hate 'mercials!" since we mostly would watch DVDs or on demand. (Dis Jr. on demand is pretty much commercial free)

    • Yup! Even the few seconds between the start of the commercial break and the time I hit the FF button hard enough to hurt my finger is annoying. Plus it takes me out of the "moment" of the show I'm watching.

    • Double WTF: do these kids really watch NOTHING but netflix, and never watch anything on, oh, for example, youtube?

      Doesn't seem hugely credible.

    • o an incredibly non-scientific tiny sample size, not at all representative of the population at large.

      The sample size is not a problem. The p-value for there being a delta between the homes is <0.001

      Now, the sampling may have not been scientific or random, but you haven't shown that at all.

      There is no way you can actually watch cable TV and not know what a commercial is.

      38% of kids not knowing what a commercial is called is different from not knowing what one is.

  • by ddtmm ( 549094 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @12:55PM (#54037597)
    100% of kids in Netflix-only homes know what bit torrent is.
  • How do you get 57% and 5% from a sample of 50?
  • Sounds kinda sad that those kids have never experienced Youtube and other free media sources.

    • Commercials on Youtube??? What kind of Philistine doesn't use adblock or whatever. I don't think I've seen a commercial on Youtube within this decade that wasn't actually the content I was looking for.

  • by Agent0013 ( 828350 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:01PM (#54037653) Journal
    My daughter has lived her six years with no cable television so far. While watching the Olympics last year on over the air signals she found the commercials to be her favorite part. When you never get to see them they are new and cool I guess.
    • Sometimes they are entertaining when done well, plenty of people watch the SuperBowl to see funny commercials. Radio commercials sure have become extra grating after not being exposed to them for a while, though...
      • On the radio stations I listen to, I've learned about how long the breaks are, and I turn the damn thing off for the commercials and turn it back on about the time the break ends.

    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      My children are in the same boat; however, they do NOT like commercials or the inability to pick and choose what they're going to watch at whatever moment.

      When we travel we now take our Roku w/us b/c even with PBS, they're annoyed by the reality of traditional TV telling its viewers what they're going to watch and when.

    • As much as everyone hates commercials, they also have some informational value. I lived without a TV for a couple years. One day my friends and I decided to go watch a movie, and I realized I had absolutely no idea what movies were playing because I never saw commercials. They tried for a while to give me a basic plot summary of each movie, but eventually I just told them to pick something they wanted to see and I'd tag along.

      The same goes for new products - you often wouldn't know they existed without
    • Commercials are often entertaining......until you've seen them and they just keep repeating, repeating, repeating.
    • Or maybe it's just the Curling is really, really dull?
  • ...considering that watching commercials makes you stupid...

  • PBS doesn't generally have advertisements during kid's shows... Sesame Street doesn't have ads.

    I don't recall bullshit studies about kids not recognizing commercials due to their kids watching Sesame Street, Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood, or any of the other legion of PBS shows for kids.

    • Not many households are PBS only. The kids can see the ads blaring on the shows their parents watch. Yet another reason they don't want to grow up.

    • PBS may not have ads during their shows, but they DO have advertisements. They play a lot of ads actually between shows and all the entities that donated to support the shows in the opening and closing credits.. It may get some of it's support from the government, but it still runs advertisements of sorts.

      Don't get me started on the donation drives....

    • PBS doesn't generally have advertisements during kid's shows... Sesame Street doesn't have ads.

      Sesame Street is almost 100% product placement for Sesame Street licensed toys and other merchandise,

  • by KalvinB ( 205500 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:07PM (#54037723) Homepage

    They may not know what the term "commercial" is but they're endlessly exposed to commercials. The entire basis of kids programming is to sell toys.

    • The entire basis of kids programming is to sell toys.

      For the most part, that is correct. One shining exception to that rule is, "Trollhunters," which may very well be the single best "children's show" ever created.

      • Trollhunters was okay, but have you seen the new Netflix Voltron series? It's phenomenal. Story, art, voice acting, whole package.

  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:11PM (#54037769)

    YouTube videos are smothered in ads and kids experience them all the time. Netflix shows are also rife with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) product placements. Live action shows feature massive luxury homes, Macbooks everywhere, fancy cars and shiny mobile phones. All that stuff acts to normalize expectations. It is brilliant and very effective marketing.

  • The scary part (Score:4, Informative)

    by pesho ( 843750 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:19PM (#54037841)
    It could be just me, but I wouldn't worry so much about the kids on Netflix not knowing what a commercial is. You would kind of expect that. What worries me is that

    38% of kids in regular television homes don't know what commercials are

    . I am sure these kids will grow up and learn what a commercial is, but considering the amount of commercial on American TV it is hard to believe that they have not been heavily exposed to those.

  • I don't believe that anyone could find 50 "Netflix-only" kids who have never seen "normal" TV.
  • by asylumx ( 881307 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2017 @01:22PM (#54037859)

    38% of kids in regular television homes don't know what commercials are

    Isn't that the more surprising figure? 2/5 kids in a typical home (which has a TV which children watch ~24hrs/week) don't know what a commercial *is*. Oh, I see, the question was to the parents, "Do your kids know what commercials are?" -- This is a survey on parents' opinion about what their kids 'know'. The headline maybe should read "82% of Exstreamist readers who are parents in netflix-only homes think their kids don't know what commercials are" because technically that's all they've indicated.

    • Here's the scary question for that stat:

      Assuming the number is accurate (for some values of accurate), do they not know what a commercial is because they have never seen one or because they cannot differentiate the commercial from the show they are watching?

  • We're a Netflix-only household. My kid almost never sees commercials there. But I don't want him to not know what they are because I don't want him to fall prey to the tactics advertisers use. So whenever we do run across commercials (at the movies, at grandmas house, etc.), we often talk about them with respect to issues of truth, opinion, spin, manipulation, and reasons to buy.

    I would not be happy for my kid to be one of the 82% who don't even know what a commercial is.

  • So kids that only see Netflix don't know about commercials.... Let me guess, they don't know about rotary dial phones, phonograph records or cassette tapes either because they've never see them..

    What a surprise.. I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die from THAT surprise...

  • The slow pan past a Lexus in Suits is a commercial.

    http://www.lexusnxforum.com/fo... [lexusnxforum.com]

  • A few years back when my boy was 4 or so, he experienced his first commercial. He had been watching YouTube on computers and Kodi for his first few years, so no commercials. Then we got a tablet and he watched YouTube through the app, which gave him his first commercial. "I don't want this", he tells me. Sorry guy, you just gotta wait.

    His little sister would just keep clicking videos until she got one without a pre-roll or the commercial was vaguely interesting. She often assumed she just clicked on th

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