Like many parents, I applauded when Netflix created a kid-friendly streaming zone for its service, and now it looks like Hulu Plus is going juvenile as well. In my opinion, providing a kid-friendly zone at log-in pushes streaming closer to becoming a viable alternative to cable. After all, parental lock is a key feature of the traditional cable box, and companies’ providing a virtual equivalent of this with an OTT service makes it easier for parents to keep children from seeing mature content. It also allows them to easily segment family from other types of nonrelevant content.
Longer term, I expect more microsegmentation within specific streaming services to target specific audiences. It’s already being done at a basic level with genre grouping within the menu guide, but we will begin to see it more and more at the log-in level to create specific focus areas for targeted demographics. Imagine, say, a Spanish-speaking log-in feature or something targeted at a demographic that only wants to see mature or more R-rated material.