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Netflix Pulls Plug on Patches for Kids Shows

Netflix put a stop to a test that was awarding patches for viewing certain kids shows Wednesday, with a spokesperson telling Variety that the patches won’t become part of Netflix’s product:

“We’ve concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well – and what doesn’t work well – for our members.”

Netflix had been testing these patches for a couple of weeks now, awarding a subset of its viewers patches for completing episodes of shows like “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”  The patches didn’t unlock any additional content, but functioned as a kind of reward of their own. Variety was first to report about the test Friday.

Netflix is known for extensively testing new features before they become part of the final product. The company’s spokesperson declined to comment on how the patches performed in these tests, or what ultimately led to the company’s decision to end the test.

However, social media feedback from parents had been largely negative, with many users either expressing confusion about the patches themselves, or frustration about Netflix’s decision to gameify binge viewing.

Earlier this week, Gizmodo reported that a children’s safety group spoke out against the patches as well.

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