Netflix Kids Around On Xbox8/08/2012 12:20 PM Eastern
Netflix's "Just for Kids" menu is now available on Microsoft's Xbox 360, with the Internet streamer claiming subscribers have watched more than 2 billion hours of children's programming on the service since the kid-specific feature launched in August 2011.
The "Just for Kids" content selections are aimed at children 12 and under, and feature episodes of Nick's SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly and Dora the Explorer, Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb and Hannah Montana, and other family fare.
The popularity of Netflix's kids programming has led to speculation that the over-the-top service is eating into ratings at Viacom's Nick and Disney Channel. Viacom, for one, has disputed that Netflix has had an effect on Nick viewership.
In addition to Xbox 360, the Just for Kids menu is available on PCs and Macs, Nintendo Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, Apple TV set-top and certain smart TVs, Blu-ray players and streaming-media players. Netflix said it expects to add Just for Kids to other devices, including tablets, later this year.
Netflix pointed out that "there are never any commercials displayed on Netflix" and that Just for Kids used independent ratings and reviews from the not-for-profit Common Sense Media to make the selections.
"We believe that we can make all the entertainment you love even more amazing with Xbox," Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Live Entertainment and Advertising at Microsoft, said in a statement. "Using voice and gesture control with Kinect to explore 'Just for Kids' makes Netflix on Xbox 360 more personal and engaging for all audiences."
Netflix had 23.9 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the end of June, after gaining 530,000 in the second quarter of 2012. However, the company told investors it may be "challenging" to hit its target of 7 million domestic net additions for the full year.