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Netflix will start emailing parents, but it still doesn’t want to police screen time

Starting this week, the company will email parents viewing recommendations, coloring sheets and more.

Screenshot of email Netflix is sending to parents

Netflix's new email digest tells parents about the shows their kids have been watching.

Image: Netflix

Netflix wants to tell parents more about their kids' viewing habits: The streaming service is launching a biweekly email with content insights and suggestions. The company is also adding its Top 10 lists to kids profiles to give children additional viewing recommendations.

The rollout of these new features makes a lot of sense for Netflix, as children's entertainment has long been popular on the service. Family living rooms are also increasingly becoming a key battleground in the global streaming wars, as services like Disney+ attract tens of millions of subscribers with kid-friendly fare.

In this context, Netflix's new emails to parents are especially remarkable for what they are not: The fortnightly digests don't highlight total viewing hours, and aren't really meant as a report card to police the subject matter kids are interested in. Instead, the emails put a bigger emphasis on creating shared family time.

That was a direct result of conversations Netflix's kids and family team had with parents and their children, said Netflix's director of product innovation, Jennifer Nieva, in an interview with Protocol this week. "They were looking to engage and bond more with kids," Nieva said of parents she and her team talked to. "They wanted to understand their kids."

Nieva said that Netflix's apps already offer a number of parental control options, including the ability to turn off autoplay for children's profiles. However, she also argued that screen time has been harder to navigate during the pandemic. "Every family has their own limits," she said.

The new email digest highlights some of the movies and shows children have recently watched on their profiles, and shows the types of themes that are common in the titles they have streamed. It also highlights additional titles a child may like, and gives parents the option to add those titles directly to their watch list. Emails for younger kids include downloadable coloring sheets, and parents are being told about features related to kids profiles. The emails will be automatically sent out to any Netflix member with a kids profile starting this Friday.

Also launching globally this week: Top 10 lists for kids, which are based on popularity and refreshed every 24 hours. A parent herself, Nieva said that those Top 10 lists had already helped her kids discover new things to watch, including the documentary "My Octopus Teacher." "I don't think my kids would have discovered it on their own," she said.

Netflix's embrace of content recommendation tools for families makes a lot of sense for the company. Around 60% of all Netflix subscribers watch kids and family content every month, and half of all members watch animated kids shows and movies on the service, according to Nieva.

However, the kids and family streaming space is also getting increasingly competitive. Disney+ is pretty much synonymous with family fare, and services like Amazon and HBO Max have also been licensing and producing an increasing number of kids shows.

At the same time, it's become harder for Netflix to grow its subscriber numbers, especially in saturated markets like North America. During the first three months of this year, the company added just 450,000 paying subscribers in North America and Canada. This makes it all the more important for Netflix to retain existing members — and keeping families hooked may be an important piece of that puzzle.

"We are the only company to be doing this," Nieva said of the new parental email digest.

Protocol | Workplace

The Activision Blizzard lawsuit has opened the floodgates

An employee walkout, a tumbling stock price and damning new reports of misconduct.

Activision Blizzard is being sued for widespread sexism, harassment and discrimination.

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard is in crisis mode. The World of Warcraft publisher was the subject of a shocking lawsuit filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing last week over claims of widespread sexism, harassment and discrimination against female employees. The resulting fallout has only intensified by the day, culminating in a 500-person walkout at the headquarters of Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine on Wednesday.

The company's stock price has tumbled nearly 10% this week, and CEO Bobby Kotick acknowledged in a message to employees Tuesday that Activision Blizzard's initial response was "tone deaf." Meanwhile, there has been a continuous stream of new reports unearthing horrendous misconduct as more and more former and current employees speak out about the working conditions and alleged rampant misogyny at one of the video game industry's largest and most powerful employers.

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Nick Statt
Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at

Over the last year, financial institutions have experienced unprecedented demand from their customers for exposure to cryptocurrency, and we've seen an inflow of institutional dollars driving bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to record prices. Some banks have already launched cryptocurrency programs, but many more are evaluating the market.

That's why we've created the Crypto Maturity Model: an iterative roadmap for cryptocurrency product rollout, enabling financial institutions to evaluate market opportunities while addressing compliance requirements.

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Caitlin Barnett, Chainanalysis
Caitlin’s legal and compliance experience encompasses both cryptocurrency and traditional finance. As Director of Regulation and Compliance at Chainalysis, she helps leading financial institutions strategize and build compliance programs in order to adopt cryptocurrencies and offer new products to their customers. In addition, Caitlin helps facilitate dialogue with regulators and the industry on key policy issues within the cryptocurrency industry.
Protocol | Workplace

Founder sues the company that acquired her startup

Knoq founder Kendall Hope Tucker is suing the company that acquired her startup for discrimination, retaliation and fraud.

Kendall Hope Tucker, founder of Knoq, is suing Ad Practitioners, which acquired her company last year.

Photo: Kendall Hope Tucker

Kendall Hope Tucker felt excited when she sold her startup last December. Tucker, the founder of Knoq, was sad to "give up control of a company [she] had poured five years of [her] heart, soul and energy into building," she told Protocol, but ultimately felt hopeful that selling it to digital media company Ad Practitioners was the best financial outcome for her, her team and her investors. Now, seven months later, Tucker is suing Ad Practitioners alleging discrimination, retaliation and fraud.

Knoq found success selling its door-to-door sales and analytics services to companies such as Google Fiber, Inspire Energy, Fluent Home and others. Knoq representatives would walk around neighborhoods, knocking on doors to market its customers' products and services. The pandemic, however, threw a wrench in its business. Prior to the acquisition, Knoq says it raised $6.5 million from Initialized Capital,, Techstars and others.

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Megan Rose Dickey
Megan Rose Dickey is a senior reporter at Protocol covering labor and diversity in tech. Prior to joining Protocol, she was a senior reporter at TechCrunch and a reporter at Business Insider.
Protocol | Workplace

What’s the purpose of a chief purpose officer?

Cisco's EVP and chief people, policy & purpose officer shares how the company is creating a more conscious and hybrid work culture.

Like many large organizations, the leaders at Cisco spent much of the past year working to ensure their employees had an inclusive and flexible workplace while everyone worked from home during the pandemic. In doing so, they brought a new role into the mix. In March 2021 Francine Katsoudas transitioned from EVP and chief people officer to chief people, policy & purpose Officer.

For many, the role of a purpose officer is new. Purpose officers hold their companies accountable to their mission and the people who work for them. In a conversation with Protocol, Katsoudas shared how she is thinking about the expanded role and the future of hybrid work at Cisco.

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Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.

Protocol | Fintech

The digital dollar is coming. The payments industry is worried.

Jodie Kelley heads the Electronic Transactions Association. The trade group's members, who process $7 trillion a year in payments, want a say in the digital currency.

Jodie Kelley is CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association.

Photo: Electronic Transactions Association

The Electronic Transactions Association launched in 1990 just as new technologies, led by the World Wide Web, began upending the world of commerce and finance.

The disruption hasn't stopped.

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Benjamin Pimentel

Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at or via Signal at (510)731-8429.

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