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Is Netflix shortchanging toddlers?

Published: Wednesday, May 29 2013 3:54 p.m. MDT

With the recent lapse of its contract with Viacom, Netflix streaming lost all of its Nickelodeon titles.

Associated Press

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Veteran technology journalist Pete Pachal published an op-ed article Tuesday on the tech website Mashable with the headline “Netflix Loses Viacom and a Key Demographic: Toddlers.” Pachal’s opinion piece essentially decries Netflix’s strategic decision to let its contract for streaming rights lapse with Viacom, the parent company of Nickelodeon, because it means no more “Blue’s Clues” for his 3-year-old son.

“Netflix's decision is tied directly to its new strategy of being an ‘expert programmer’ and curator instead of a broad distributor of entertainment,” Pachal wrote. “It's a decision … (that) also happens to be the wrong strategy, at least for the toddler demographic. Like many new parents, I often turn to Netflix to keep my three-year-old son occupied for a little while when necessary. When I do, I'm not looking for marquee titles with high production values — I just want something peaceful (and possibly even educational) that he likes. Young children can be picky, but if you have access to Nickelodeon's entire catalog, chances are you're going to find something they'll enjoy.”

Despite Pachal’s protestation, Netflix still maintains an extensive streaming catalog with hundreds of age-appropriate episodes from toddler-friendly franchises such as “Veggie Tales,” “Thomas & Friends,” “Barney” and “Bob the Builder.”

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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