This year, feeling overwhelmed was a recurring topic at the FOSI Annual Conference. From finding quality online entertainment, to navigating parental controls, to balancing tech and media consumption, parents are overwhelmed by the challenges of keeping their families engaged and safe online. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed, on HBO Max, and across the media industry, streaming has skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic. Parents have turned to streaming platforms for everything from entertainment to education for their children. This summer, the AT&T Family Digital Poll told us most teens are now spending 3+ hours online everyday for entertainment alone. Meanwhile, parents are increasingly worried about their teen’s safety online. At AT&T and WarnerMedia, we know families are looking for solutions to surface engaging and entertaining age-appropriate content.
We also know that what kids watch matters. Quality, age-appropriate content does not only help entertain, but also helps kids understand the world, develop social skills, and inspire new ideas. We designed our bespoke Kids Experience with transparent parental controls and parent input in mind.
In fact, we’ve made it nearly impossible to miss our parental controls because we intentionally baked them into the onboarding process for new subscribers. And, we built HBO Max’s Kids Experience to grow with the child as they develop, rather than as a straight partition between kid and adult. Not surprisingly, as I discussed on the Streaming Quality Kids’ Content panel at this year’s FOSI Conference, we’ve seen high engagement among parents using these controls. Since the launch in May, 84% of parents on HBO Max have opted in and locked their kids’ profiles. This means their kids are protected and will only see age-appropriate content in their profile. In total, 66% of parents are also actively curating their kid’s experience by setting up custom TV & movie rating settings.
And, beginning in 2021, we will provide parents with even more information and content to help them make media choices that are right for their families by integrating Common Sense Media into HBO Max’s Kids Experience. This integration will make it easier for parents to find quality content and will create more opportunities for families to come together during the pandemic. For HBO Max, this is just the start. Through our continued conversations with parents and our collaboration with Common Sense Media, we will work to provide parents with the tools and information they need to make the online and entertainment experiences that are right for their family. And, by making these tools available directly in the HBO Max experience and on AT&T’s ScreenReady website, we can help reduce emotional overwhelm for parents navigating the digital world.