How Online Streaming Services are Catching Up to Children’s Programs

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A popular trend in TV today is to either supplement cable with streaming services like Hulu and Netflix or use them to replace cable entirely. For me, I have both because my kids wouldn't know what to do without some of their cartoons (and sometimes I wouldn't know what to do with them if those shows were missing either).

Two kids with digital tablet

Mommy Shows

Since early 2013, online streaming services have crossed the line from repeats to original content—Netflix released the political drama "House of Cards" in February to a widely receptive audience and is exclusively producing the newest season of "Arrested Development." Those are fantastic shows for me, but they're certainly not programs that are appropriate for my children. So in a day where streaming is only starting out in content creation, is there a place to turn for age-appropriate shows? According to, 88 percent of American homes have two or more TVs, so cable or satellite isn't something that's very easy to leave behind.

That's a corner of the market Amazon wants to capture.

Kid Shows

Amazon has a service very similar to Netflix called Amazon Instant. You can get it for a monthly fee or portions of it for free if you're an Amazon Prime member. The service plans to launch more original adult programs of it's own, like a TV spinoff of the popular movie "Zombieland," but recognizes the huge demand for kids' shows online as well. According to CNET, Amazon Studios will produce pilot episodes for five original children's shows with help from the creators of "Blue's Clues" and "Sid the Science Kid."

Online Streaming Services and Original Programming

The success of original children's shows would help Amazon gain an edge as it seeks out other programs, but the implications could be even bigger considering children walk around with tablets and iPod touches. If these shows and others like them take off, every parent in the country is going to be asked by their kids to sign up for Amazon so they can watch these shows. That would create a huge inflation of subscribers who otherwise might look elsewhere with giants like Netflix.

But not to take any of this lying down, Netflix is planning a bit of kids' content of its own. DreamWorks is teaming with Netflix to create an animated show based off its upcoming blockbuster "Turbo," according to Huffington Post. The advantage in Netflix's situation is that a big name like DreamWorks will help create instant buzz toward a show the studio hopes will ride the wave of the movie's success. Both Amazon and Netflix plan on releasing their new shows fairly close to one another later this summer.

Will you ever give up cable based on streaming's new programming? Perhaps not, but at least you will have a choice when deciding between services and will know that there is quality and safe content for your kids streaming on the web.

How do you and your family like to watch your favorite shows?


Lauren Mead
As a yoga teacher, mom, and strong supporter of vegetarianism, Lauren loves sharing tips and recipes that help her readers live a healthy and happy life.
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