In part 1 of this article, we talked about the importance of making sure there were plenty of suitable options for the kids when choosing a streaming service. As more and more people cut the cable TV and satellite cord, they want to make sure to pick the right service for the whole family. We’ve already looked at what Netflix and Hulu have to offer, but they aren’t the only options out there.
Amazon Prime ($99 a year or about $8.25) features streaming, rentals, and purchases through their Amazon Instant Video (TV and movies) service with a “For the Kids” section. Kid content is strong and even includes different international versions of PBS’s long-running Sesame Street television show. The added benefits make a big difference here. Amazon Prime just added their music service as a benefit, so kids can enjoy their music collections more as well as view content on the expanding family of Amazon’s Kindle tablets (standard and HD) at varying prices. Users also have access to over half a million eBooks. Amazon Prime can also be viewed on computer, mobile, and other devices.
For an additional fee starting at $2.99 per month, parents can subscribe to Kindle FreeTime which offers more than just videos. There’s also a selection of books and apps picked just for kids and parental controls that let you control the times the tablet is used and set specific goals for kids, such as allotting a certain amount of time for reading, games and videos. You could set up your tablet to allow 3o minutes for video watching, 1 hour for reading and 20 minutes for games.
Vudu ($1 to $5.99 per video) also has streaming, rentals, and purchases with stress on new/early release films plus no subscriptions or late fees. This service was bought by Wal-Mart Stores and is pay-per-view, so there are no late fees. Vudu also has a large HD movie library and search options to find kids movies.
In August 2014, the free Popcornflix service expanded with Popcornflix Kids featuring popular content as well as lesser-known children’s gems from Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Shaftesbury plus musician and entertainer documentaries about kid favorites like One Direction, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber.
Popcornflix is owned by Screen Media Ventures, LLC, a leading global independent motion picture distribution company, and run on an ad-supported platform. Popcornflix includes pre-roll, spot ads and banner ads with each TV program episode or feature film. Popcornflix is available on the web in over 50 countries worldwide. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in New York City.
shomi, a subscription video-on-demand service, will deliver popular content and a library of family-friendly kids programming beginning in the first week of November 2014 at $8.99 per month to Canadians on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes. It will launch in beta first to Rogers and Shaw Internet or TV customers.
Users likely won’t find children’s content now or in the future from other streaming services like GANDER.tv, a proprietary video-streaming network that provides the best live and recorded entertainment from top nightlife venues.
Looking for a family movie night with more specific choices? Feeln is a recently relaunched streaming service (previously known as SpiritClips) that features the specific genre of exciting, inspiring and family-friendly films.
The monthly fee is $4.99, but users can really save with the annual fee of $47.99. Users can also try a seven-day free trial. Feeln is the exclusive home of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies and also features hundreds of films and several TV series from PBS and BBC. This service will also release original short films every week beginning with The Saint of Auschwitz, where prisoners in a World War II Nazi prison are saved by a Catholic priest.
But as you can see, there are plenty of options out there for kids. It’s a far cry from the days when the only viewing options for kids were Saturday morning cartoons and Sesame Street.