PTC Invites Streaming TV Executives to ‘Virtual Town Hall’ Discussion on Parental Controls

Written by PTC | Published April 29, 2021

Invitation Comes on Heels of New PTC Research on Streaming Services Evaluating Economic Value and Parental Controls

LOS ANGELES (April 29, 2021) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) has invited top streaming companies to a virtual town hall on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, to discuss key improvements that should be made to better serve families and protect children from harmful adult content, and to develop industry best practices. Invitations to participate were sent to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Videos, Hulu, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Peacock, and Paramount (all of which were evaluated in the PTC’s new report).

This invitation follows a new PTC report, Dollars and Sense: A Parent’s Guide to Streaming Media, that compares both the economic and non-economic impacts associated with the myriad and most popular streaming media platforms. The report found that advertiser-supported streaming services like Paramount+, Peacock, and Hulu are the most cost-effective, but Hulu has the worst parental controls while Netflix has the best (but with room for improvement).

In a letter to each company, PTC President Tim Winter wrote, “When it comes to reliable and robust parental control mechanisms, our research report’s findings were sobering. Although some platforms provided somewhat better gating measures than others, the streaming industry itself lacks a clear, uniform commitment to protecting children from age-inappropriate content.

“In our report, the PTC offers a number of recommendations. But with such a massive amount of explicit content – both in volume and degree – now being streamed on demand to Smart TVs, Computer Screens, Cell Phones and myriad other devices, any vigorous solution demands input from all stakeholders to recommend, adopt and implement industry-wide best practices for parental controls,” Winter said.

Winter continued, “For parents who are working tirelessly to protect their children from graphic programming, the challenge has never been greater. It is no longer a matter of knowing what is on a handful of broadcast or cable networks during a given time of day. Launching any one of dozens of streaming apps gives a child instantaneous access to a virtually unlimited catalogue of programming. It is not feasible or realistic to expect a parent to be familiar with all of the available titles on any ONE streaming service, let alone the content on EACH of those titles.

“Streaming TV is already proving to be a leader in the entertainment industry, and we expect these companies to exercise leadership to better protect children from harmful adult content,” said Winter.

Letters were sent to: Amazon Prime Video Senior Vice President Mike Hopkins; Apple TV+ Domestic Creative Development Head Matt Cherniss; Disney+ President Michael Paull; Hulu President Kelly Campbell; HBO Max Head Andy Forssell; Netflix Co-CEO and COO Ted Sarandos; Paramount President and CEO Tom Ryan; and Peacock Chairman Mark Lazarus.

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